Really Big Cog


On behalf of the Association, the South West Branch is excited and privileged to host Conference 2014 in the superb facilities of the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel on Thursday and Friday, 10 and 11 April 2014.

Bringing the South West theme to the Midlands is a challenge that we are enjoying and we promise that we will capture and share the true elements of the South West with you.

The theme for Conference 2014 is ‘Engineering the future’, taking inspiration from Isambard Kingdom Brunel - the Victorian mechanical and civil engineer from the South West - a visionary who had a passion to show the world that anything is possible.

Overcoming the obstacles of financial pressures, customer demands and expectations demands innovative leadership. The foundation of Protected Mealtimes, sustainable and nutritionally planned menus is the current focus, so Conference will shine a spotlight on a range of Speakers who will share their vision for an NHS that needs to think, plan and act differently, to emphasise the balance of feeding patients in a suitable environment with a choice that meets their needs.

No holds barred

Breaking the mould of the NHS culture and empowering the caterer will make a difference during a patient’s stay. The HCA has contributed to, fulfilled and strengthened the aspects of a patients stay, increasing the significance of food being recognised as medicine, enhancing the importance of getting it right. As an organisation, it is imperative that we set the standard, rather than have it dictated to us. So there will be ‘no holds barred’ as we use the ambitious Programme to challenge Caterers and Healthcare professionals, driving forward the initiatives shared with fellow organisations.

elderly female patient being served food on a tray

The HCA CONFERENCE 2014 is aiming to follow Brunel’s example by giving healthcare practitioners the opportunity to explore the financial and operational aspects relating to serving patients of the future. We are celebrating that we are part of a larger team within the NHS, but searching for opportunities to take courageous steps together, to plan ahead with a conviction that will make a difference.

‘Engineering the future’ is a natural progression of the ‘1 HCA, 4 Nations, 1 Goal’ theme utilised for the HCA’s 2013 National Conference at the Celtic Manor, where the challenge of uniting healthcare services throughout the UK was brought to life. It’s vital that we keep up the momentum of working together smarter and use Conference 2014 as a catalyst within our own Trusts and organisations, to meet the needs of the patient during their stay.

Keep up the momentum

As always the proceedings will provide an excellent opportunity for networking throughout the two days of Conference and dedicated time will allocated within the Conference Programme to attend the excellent Exhibition. The President’s Dinner will host the annual HCA Awards presentations and the Charity Raffle. The 2014 Branch Dinner promises a Friday night filled with ‘delights, sounds and tastes’ from the South West. And why not kick it all off by joining us at the Pre-Conference ice breaker evening on Wednesday 09 April 2014 for our ‘Barn Dance, with a twist’?

As the premier annual event for healthcare catering managers, hotel services and facilities professionals and suppliers, this particular event is one that you can’t afford to miss. All bookings will be taken on a first come, first served basis, so to avoid disappointment we would urge you to make your reservation now!

Completed booking forms can be emailed, posted or faxed back.

If you have any questions or need help with your booking, please call the Conference team on 0161 872 6667.

Philip Shelley
HCA Conference Secretary 2014