Patients at Musgrove Park Hospital are now getting their food and drink from an award-winning catering team.
The hospital has won a highly coveted national Hospital Catering Award at the 2016 Health Business Awards.
Judges recognised the outstanding work done by a wide range of hospital staff – dietitians, nurses, housekeepers, ward assistants and caterers – to bring food and drink fully in line with patients’ dietary needs.
They also praised the way that Musgrove has improved the quality and range of food and significantly reduced the amount of waste, while at the same time making savings of £120,000. This has been reinvested into better provision of meals and snacks, which are now available 24 hours a day.
In August this year Musgrove’s food service was rated 93% for food in NHS England’s annual patient-led assessments of the care environment, which put the hospital top in the South West
The improvements began when a team of caterers and dietitians, supported by nurses, came together to use their respective expertise and knowledge to look at how food provision could be improved to promote patients’ recovery and enhance their hospital experience.
On the majority of wards they introduced a same day ordering system, which has since been further improved by using iPads, which means patients are able to order their food closer to their mealtime. This has helped reduce food waste from 21 per cent to just five per cent.
Food folders have been introduced across the hospital’s wards so patients and staff can view menus, dietary and allergen information at the bedside. The allergen and nutritional information, along with pictures will soon be added to the iPads, making it even more accessible.
Patients with specific dietary requirements, particularly those on the Cardiac Cath Lab or Intensive Care Unit, are able to order their food from an a la carte menu.
Hayley Peters, executive director of patient care at Musgrove Park Hospital, said she was proud the hospital had won the national award. “This award really is a testament to all the hard work done by staff across the hospital to make sure our patients get the best possible food and drink served to them,” she said.
“Here at Musgrove we have created a culture of catering being everyone’s responsibility, as we know that if we get it right it goes a long way to helping patients’ recovery. “Along with the improvements we have made to the way our catering operates, we have also made significant cost savings, which has been reinvested back into patient care at the hospital.”