Chairman's message

Welcome to the Hospital Caterers Association website.

Founded at the birth of the NHS in 1948, the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) is a national organisation that represents health care catering managers who provide a wide range of food services for patients, visitors and staff in NHS hospitals and health care facilities across the UK. A large proportion of the Membership are actively involved in managing a range of other non clinical support services.

With15 Branches throughout the UK and more than 250 NHS hospitals represented in its Membership, the HCA network is the single largest group of health care catering providers within the NHS.

The HCA's mission is to promote, develop and improve the standards of catering in hospitals and healthcare establishments; educate and train persons working in health care catering services, and improve the professional interests and status of health care catering practitioners. 

The NHS has mandatory Food Standards across the 4 Nations. This year (2016) we entered a partnership with NHS England to improve the quality of food served in NHS establishments, including the retail offerings, promoting and providing healthy food options for our patients, visitors and as importantly, NHS staff. 

That health and social care is facing significant challenges in the coming years is unquestionable. With the wellbeing of the patient at the core of all we do and building on the HCA’s ‘Power of 3’ campaign, we're working collaboratively with patients, nurses and dietitians and providing training to our Members to deliver a more inclusive, patient-centred and safe catering service throughout the NHS, at the very best price.

And Training via the HCA's Educational Programme is key. The highlight of the year is the National Leadership & Development Forum and Exhibition. Branch activities include formal meetings, Seminars and Study Days with guest speakers, supplier’s demonstrations and exhibitions and social events. We also mark and partake in national and international events such as Hotelympia, Nutrition & Hydration Week and other cookery competitions.

HCA Membership delivers many values and benefits. There are several grades of membership and a patronage scheme available. From caterers' menus and ingredients, to dietitians' safeguarding of nutritional content, to the final ward end delivery supported via the nursing teams, through working together, we can deliver excellence to each and every patient.

This site contains lots of information about what we as an organisation do within the sector and how we're raising the profile and professionalism of our Members and drive to improve the quality of hospital catering. It has been designed for easy usability and as a resource to share information.

We welcome your input and any feedback.

National Chairman
Philip Shelley