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HCA members helped to deliver festive cheer

Members of the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) did their best to bring some festive cheer to patients who were in hospital over Xmas, serving nearly 400,000 Christmas lunches across the UK on December 25.

At many hospitals, including Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust and Somerset Partnership NHS Trust, patients received a full roast turkey lunch accompanied by fresh fruit, mince pies, Christmas cake, crackers and napkins.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn served roast turkey with all the trimmings and delivered a whole cooked turkey to the children’s ward where staff carved. North East Fife in Scotland supplied a cooked breakfast, full Christmas lunch and a buffet in the evening. At Pennine Acute Hospital, NHS Trust staff were also treated to a free cooked breakfast.

Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock noted it operated at 90% bed capacity during the Christmas period and over New Year weekend it was at 100%. With no let-up, many HCA members and NHS catering staff provided a full and enhanced catering service during the busy holiday period.

Phil Shelley, HCA National Chair, comments: “As an association we are very proud of the work and commitment of our members, especially all of those who go that extra mile at difficult times such as Christmas. We accept unsociable working days and times as part of the job and with Christmas falling on a Sunday in 2016, NHS catering is truly a seven day a week, all year round service.

“With the rise of malnutrition, nutrition and hydration has never been more important for patients recovering in hospital. Good nutrition, which is patient led, is at the heart of every HCA member, and we are here to provide it 52 weeks of the year, every year.”

In a statement issued pre-Christmas, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt praised all those who worked on Christmas day, saying: “I want to thank everyone across our health and care system, from the cooks making hundreds of thousands of Christmas dinners, to the cleaners, nurses, doctors, care workers, paramedics and countless other staff making sure patients get outstanding care this Christmas.”