Stepping Hill Hospital’s catering team has been chosen as part of an NHS scheme aiming to improve hospital food standards across the country.
The hospital has been chosen as an ‘exemplar site’ for NHS catering, following the recommendations of a national Independent Review into NHS Hospital Food published late last year. It is one of just 14 sites across England, and the only site in Greater Manchester, to be chosen for the honour.
The Review Into NHS Hospital Food, which has the support of top TV chef Prue Leith, recognises the importance of good nutrition in both patient recovery and general support for healthier living in the wider community, as well as providing a pleasant environment for both patients and staff. Exemplar sites will serve as test sites for national initiatives and feedback to the wider group to raise standards.
The Stockport NHS Foundation Trust catering team has been singled out for its high standards of nutrition, and for the diversity and choice it offers for both patients and visitors, with options from cuisine across the world. The team also offer other themed events for inpatients such as steak nights, and have supported British Food Fortnight using locally sourced ingredients for a bespoke three course menu for patients as well as special meals for celebrations including Christmas and Eid. They have led the way in promoting their top meals on social media as well.
Together with the trust’s estates team, they also managed to completely revamp the hospital’s restaurant facilities last summer to make it a COVID-19 friendly zone, assisting in preventing infections as well as making an attractive, and relaxing environment.
As an exemplar site, the team will be expected to maintain these high food and nutrition standards and to lead the way on new national initiatives such as a planned National Recipe and Menu Bank, and reducing waste as part of the NHS Net Zero Campaign. Meetings with NHS England other exemplar sites will help to share best practice.
Stockport NHS Foundation Trust catering Manager Duncan O’Neil said:
We’re so pleased to have been chosen as an exemplar site, which is a testimony to the hard work of all the members of our catering team, from those behind the scenes in our kitchens to those serving the food. The pandemic has changed the ways we work, but I think being chosen has shown we’ve risen to the challenge in continuing to serve delicious, good quality and nutritious food both for our patients, an in supporting the health and wellbeing of our hard-working staff as well. We look forward over the year to sharing our ideas with other hospital catering teams, and learning from others too.”
Photo: L-R: Members of Stepping Hill Hospital’s catering team, Catering Manager Duncan O’Neil (quoted in the release) and Chefs, Andrea Lavin and Mohammed Rahaman.