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HEALTHCARE FOODSERVICE


public services, there is no excuse for the NHS not to up its game and offer staff, visitors and patients nutritious, quality food, no matter the time of the day or night.


A whole-hospital approach While the report is careful to stress that there is no one-size-fits-all solution in terms of food delivery model or equipment, the authors believe there is a handful of key things that all successful hospitals have in common, including adopting a ‘whole- hospital approach’.


This approach means integrating food into the life of the hospital – treating the restaurant as the hub of the hospital, where staff and visitors eat together; ensuring the chef and catering team are given the same respect and care as other staff members; and including food as part of a patient’s care and treatment. “We want mealtimes to be the focus of the day for patients; they don’t have much else to look forward to when they’re lying in bed,” says Shelley. “Similarly for staff, we want their break times and mealtimes to be enjoyable; we want them to look forward to that 15 to 20 minutes they get and perhaps be able to go to a wellbeing area where the sun is shining and where there is good healthy food available. Often it’s a 15-minute walk to get to a retail outlet or a staff restaurant, which is no good if your break is only that long.”


Since the review was released, there has been an increased focus across the NHS on implementing fresh-food vending machines. “It’s about stepping up the quality of choice around the clock to ensure that whether you’re an afternoon or a night worker, you still have a suitable choice,” says Shelley, who, since the review was released has been working closely with the government and hospital trusts on a three-year plan to implement its recommendations. For Duncan Hepburn FCSI, senior design and management consultant with Hepburn Associates, the challenge around fresh food vending machines is ensuring capacity meets demand. “While you may be able to load that machine at 5pm when the


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EAME


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