Our hospital chefs have been declared amongst the best in Britain at a glittering catering awards ceremony.
Based at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital and the Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock, the catering strategy team was one of three finalists in the Catering Team of the Year category at the Hospital Caterers Association awards in Belfast’s Titanic Centre on Thursday, 06 April.
The team serves up almost 10,000 meals daily across 17 hospitals and was honoured for its work in devising a variety of nutritious meals, in partnership with dieticians and patients, which meet the needs of a large number of patients who often have a range of differing needs.
These meals, which are nutritionally analysed, are produced by board staff in two large kitchen facilities in Paisley and Greenock before feeding patients across 17 hospital sites.
Patients, members of the public and staff were invited to a series of events to taste new recipes and improvements to existing ones. A rotating fortnightly menu is now offered following two rounds of consultation with patients and staff to ensure patients’ nutritional needs are met.
The service was also recognised for effectively introducing more choice as well as cutting down on levels of food waste. Staff now have more accurate food preparation plans based on actual, rather than projected, meal uptakes.
The board has been taking part in a national trial of Bedside Electronic Patient Meal Ordering (BEPMO) across a number of hospitals including the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
Catering staff input patient meal orders into a tablet and the information captured in BEPMO allows the catering service to free up more time for nurses to spend with patients, identify menu trends and reduce food waste by allowing patients to choose their meals as close to mealtimes as possible.
New ways of working have led to the level of unserved meals running at an average of 7.75% of all meals produced, which is lower than the national target of 10%.
Kate Murray, head of catering, said: “Making it to the final is a wonderful testament to all the hard work the catering service has carried out to ensure patients have a wide choice of nutritious and appealing meals.
“As a service, we’re determined to give our patients meal choices that suit their needs. We have spoken with 3,200 patients over the last 12 months to allow us to receive continual feedback on what we’re doing right and identify any areas for improvement.
“We’re part of the multi-disciplinary team involved in nutritional care and are the only board in Scotland employing a full-time dietician as part of the catering team.
“Reaching the final is very welcome as it further validates the many months of planning and consultation in the run up to our new menus being introduced. We’re proud that our own catering staff prepare 3.6 Million meals annually in-house and that patients are enjoying the meal options available to them.”
Image shows NHSGGC Catering Strategy Team (L-R): Joe Gilbey – Retail Catering Manager; Michael McCall – CFPU manager; Margaret Valenti – CFPU Administration Manager; Helen Davidson – Catering Strategy Dietician; and Kate Murray- Board lead for Catering.