Blog Post – Joe Ronan, Facilities Manager, talks about the GMMH Catering offer, and some brilliant feedback following a visit from NHS England’s National Development Chef
On Friday the 17th of February, the Catering team at our Prestwich site was visited by Andrew Politi, the national development chef for NHS England, to discuss the new NHS Food Standards, and to look at some of the challenges we face within mental health. During the visit he also looked at our food offer, menu design and patient engagement.
Feedback from Andrew’s visit has been incredibly positive. He has commended us for the design and inclusivity, variety and content of our fresh food menu, and recommended we put ourselves forward to showcase the quality of food we offer here at GMMH with other NHS trusts. There was even a recommendation to put the Prestwich site forward to become a NHS exemplar site for food, to enable the site to share some of its goals and best practice.
“From what I saw, I do feel that you should look at becoming an exemplar site for food - you are at that level. You should showcase the amazing work you and the team do, day in day out, and be recognised for that.”
- Andrew Politi, National Development Chef, NHS England
Andrew not only discussed the service provided at the Prestwich site, but also that provided by our catering teams at Woodlands, and Bolton Hospital. All our sites look to utilise local suppliers, and utilise fresh ingredients, to enable the chef teams to be creative whilst being considerate of our carbon footprint, costings and equipment limitations.
Training and team development was discussed in some detail. Although it can be easy for catering teams to reduce in skill-level with the introduction of frozen menu offerings, we at GMMH have prioritised and championed upskilling our team so they can provide freshly cooked meals for our customers. We are currently working on a detailed training / skills matrix for all catering employees, to draw out the best in their teams and to develop them further.
Feedback from the service users and ward teams since launching our fresh food menu in July has been overwhelmingly positive. But rest assured we are not sitting back on our laurels! We are currently working hard on our next new menu launch, looking at feedback gained from patient engagement meetings.
We would like to say a special thanks to all the catering teams for their hard work and dedication to providing the best possible food experience at GMMH.