Media Matters

NHS caterers win patient praise for their hospital food

News   •   Nov 25, 2010 16:55 GMT

PATIENTS at a Cambridgeshire hospital have delivered high praise for their mealtime experience – and in particular, the quality of the food.


The feedback for Lifespan Catering Services, which delivers meals into the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely (run by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust) came during a far-reaching NHS initiative aimed at helping hospital staff around the region spend more time on patient care.


The Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust has undertaken a year-long study as part of the ‘Releasing Time to Care’ project to look at ways of streamlining and improving processes at the hospital.


The programme, which comprised 11 core modules, included a section on meals.


Patients were asked for their thoughts on the food, with feedback emphasising Lifespan Catering Services’ already excellent reputation among its customers.


Lifespan Catering Services currently produces and delivers a staggering 32,000 portions of food from its base at Fulbourn each day – delivering nutritional, exquisitely presented and tasty ‘cook-chill’ meals to patients across the region.


The ‘cook chill’ process allows the food to be cooked, cooled down within strict temperature guidelines and safely re-heated at its destination.


The feedback from ward staff and the patients themselves on both the service and quality of food has earned the NHS caterers high praise.

Head of catering, Trevor Colcomb said: “Our ‘cook-chill’ meals are prepared and presented in such a way that ward staff can easily serve the selection of food to patients, who themselves are able to see and select what and how much they want.


“The quantity of food for each ward is prepared according to an agreed menu. Once delivered, staff regenerate the food and take it round the ward for patients to choose what they would like to eat – giving the flexibility of choice and the opportunity to offer second or even third helpings.


“This limits food waste and subsequent clearing away at the end of mealtimes to a minimum – leading to staff saving time on the mealtime process in general.”


The findings of this and other elements of the Releasing Time to Care initiative will be presented to NHS colleagues and health representatives at an event in St Ives on 30 November to celebrate and share these achievements.


Trevor will be among those attending the event. He said: “It has been fantastic to work in conjunction with the staff at the Princess of Wales and members of the Cambridgeshire Community Services team on such an exciting initiative, and one which places such importance on patient care.


Other modules included in the ‘Releasing Time to Care’ initiative are medicines, admission and planned discharge, shift handovers, patient hygiene and ward round. Hospitals in Ely, Peterborough, Huntingdon and Cambridge were involved.



Lifespan Catering Services is the catering arm of the Anglia Support Partnership.


Pic cap:

Lifespan Catering Services has earned high praise for the quality of its meals during an NHS initiative.



Note to editors


For more press information contact Cetti Long at Media Matters on (01733) 371363 or email: Lifespan Catering Services head of catering Trevor Colcomb on 01223 884111.

To find out more about the event on 30 November and the Releasing Time to Care initiative, contact Cambridgeshire Community Services communications department on 01480 355479.