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Multiple Foodservice Catey winner Sophie Murray has pioneered the promotion of healthy eating in the healthcare sector throughout her career.
As the head of nutrition and hydration for Sunrise Senior Living, she has led constant innovation, incorporating the latest scientific developments to support those in the company's care.
For example, Murray has conducted a trial using a hydration cup that significantly improved hydration levels in eight residents with dementia. And as part of her efforts to combat malnutrition among residents, she has also worked with two companies to develop a drink that boosts protein, fat and nutrient uptake. An enriched dining programme has also been introduced, which sees staff engaging closely with residents as they eat.
Murray's hands-on approach to her role sees her work directly with residents and her teams to create personalised initiatives to meet individual dietary needs. These are just some of the initiatives that have seen Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool scores fall by an average of 24% across the group's sites.
Murray's success can be seen in the award-winning services delivered by Sunrise Senior Living, Sunrise Living and Gracewell Healthcare, and she regularly speaks at high-profile events to share best practice.
As well as this, Murray is also deputy chair of the National Association of Care Catering – a voluntary role that sees her support sector-wide initiatives and events.
It was Murray's continued innovation and commitment to the role and the sector as a whole that saw the judges crown her the 2019 Healthy Eating Champion.
What the judges said
"A true leader in this category; someone who goes the extra mile, helping and supporting dementia sufferers with the power of food."
Rob Kirby, chef-director, Lexington
"Outstanding achievement with some really meaningful, impressive outcomes, which show the scale of the impact Sophie's work is having. I'm hugely impressed by the energy and passion she contributes, illustrated by her recent achievements over the past 12 months."
Anne Pierce, chief executive, Springboard
"She has continued to pioneer health and wellbeing with some fantastic results in the last 12 months. Sophie goes over and above, supporting a challenging sector and delivering some truly great achievements."
Emma Williams, director of operations, Green & Fortune
T(n)S Catering Services at Blind Veterans
Sunrise Senior Living
2018 Amy Roberts, Holroyd Howe
2017 Sophie Murray, Sunrise Senior Living
2016 Amanda Ursell and Judy Roberts, Charlton House
2015 Kimberley Aplin, Sodexo
2014 Kate Martin, Brookwood Partnership
2013 Caroline Fry, CH&Co
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