Get in involved with the Hospital Caterers Association's National Day of Excellence scheme and showcase the best of NHS catering, says Andy Jones
With this year's National Day of Excellence just gone (5 July), we and other caterers around the country trialled new ideas and by taking part reminded everyone of the many improvements that have been introduced over recent years in hospital catering.
Over the past three years the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) has been at the forefront of a number of initiatives, all with the aim to improve the patient's experience during their stay in hospital.
At ISS Healthcare we've made a point of supporting the HCA since its first National Day, where they introduced the Protected Mealtimes, and were the main sponsors of the day this year.
Despite the name, ISS provide a range of services in the NHS, not just cleaning, and we cater for 14 million patients a year.
This is such an important initiative as it eliminates distractions and allows the nursing staff time to monitor and assist the patients with their meals.
As ISS Mediclean operates solely in the National Health Service it is no surprise that they take these initiatives to heart, often leading the way with initiatives such as the introduction of Sustainable projects such as the Assured Food Standards (AFS) Red Tractor Mark standard and offering fish from sustainable stocks, being the first National provider to obtain the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Seal of Approval.
Regardless, I'd urge all hospital caterers who didn't to take part in the HCA National Day of Excellence in the future and the other schemes they run to highlight the good work that is going on in the health service when it comes to delivering great food to patients.
Andy Jones, director of catering at ISS Mediclean, was recently voted the Hospital Caterers Association's (HCA) Caterer of the Year.