Welcome to the Hospital Caterers Association website.
The Hospital Caterers Association encompasses the single largest group of healthcare catering providers within the NHS and is the recognised voice of hospital catering. It represents catering managers who provide a wide range of food and other services for patients, visitors and staff in NHS hospitals and healthcare facilities. The HCA is a national organisation, with 15 branches throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and more than 250 hospitals represented in its membership.
The Association is entirely about its members and one of the most important things for me is that it continues to offer the support they need. We are all very aware that the complexity of our daily jobs as caterers in the NHS has increased dramatically in the last two years. Therefore, it is imperative to continue to communicate effectively with our members, and offer them access to a wide range of resources covering education, training, guidance, and legislation. For my part I will also continue the work that ensures the HCA can be fit for the future as it becomes a Company Limited by Guarantee.
I will also be helping drive forward the outcomes of the Hospital Food Review, and I cannot stress enough the importance of offering patients and hospital staff nutritious and appetising meals. We run a number of campaigns that aim to promote greater collaboration between caterers, nurses and dietitians, and these are powerful tools in promoting high-quality patient care. I would particularly like to emphasise our Nutrition and Hydration 24/7, 365 campaign, which aims to focus on nutrition and hydration every single day.
In all walks of life, Covid-19 has changed many things, as mentioned above. It not only caused events to be cancelled but also brought about new ways of working. I am delighted our Training and Development Forum, having been postponed in 2020, is back on the calendar for 2022, under the appropriate title “Embrace the Future” more details of the programme and how to book are on the web page. As for branch HCA virtual meetings have been held across the country, despite not being the same as in-person meetings, technology such as Microsoft teams and Zoom does enable more people to be involved, though of course I hope we will soon be able to network and socialise more personally. Meanwhile, the technology does allow us to conduct more member surveys and provide additional education, and I encourage members to sign up for our new digital seminars commencing in November, to keep updated with the latest catering news and include content as requested by members.
I look forward to continue serving all our members as Chairman of the Hospital Caterers Association.