Oxford Branch News

From Anita Carthew

Last year, our Branch kindly sponsored ten Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust staff involved in the Trust’s patient, staff and visitor catering service to undergo the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) Level 2 Award in Healthier Food and Special Diets.

The benefits of a healthy and varied diet are indisputable and this qualification has been designed to provide a good, basic understanding of nutrition, which is perfect for NHS staff and has the following learning outcomes:

  • a good, basic understanding of nutrition principles and terminology
  • understanding the requirements of a balanced diet and its positive effect on health
  • identifying differing needs, allergies and food intolerances
  • appreciating that different groups of people require different diets to suit their lifestyle
  • a knowledge of the requirements of the current legislation
  • understanding the impact of food processing and manufacturing on the nutritional content of foods, and
  • appreciating the importance of accurate nutritional information being available on food products.

Catering managers at Milton Keynes Hospital and Kettering General Hospital offered their departments as venues for the course, and the refreshments were provided by Milton Keynes Hospital and Quorn, which were well received.

The course was undertaken by staff from the host hospitals but also from London and Birmingham hospitals, care homes and private catering providers. Each course was well received and there was an examination at the end of the day. Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to ask questions about nutrition and to expand their knowledge, as well as discuss practice with others.

We are pleased to announce that all ten candidates achieved the award. Dr Mabel Blades, HCA Oxford Branch Member and the award course trainer, kindly donated her own time to deliver the training for the award (pictured centre) and presented staff with certificates on 7 February 2017.

As a Registered Dietitian, Mabel is keen on caterers being able to learn more about nutrition, especially those employed in hospital and care settings. Mabel is also a registered trainer with various awarding bodies for nutrition qualifications.

We would like to thank Dr Blades for donating her time and expertise to this project.

Amy Williams, Amanda Goddard, Steven Allen, David Stevens, Teresa Speitan, Clare Gwilliam, Joanne Fitzgerald, Hannah Read, Julie Taylor and Kevin Westrip received their awards from Dr Mabel Blades (centre).

New Secretary for Oxford Branch

Craig Smith, who has been the Secretary of the Oxford Branch for more years than anyone can remember, has now become National Vice Chairman of the HCA. We would like to thank Craig for his commitment to the Branch and wish him every success in his new role within the HCA – although we obviously look forward to his continued presence at Branch Meetings. Craig has been replaced as Branch Secretary by Anita Carthew, Business Development Director for Inhouse Manager, and she very much looks forward to getting to know the Branch Members and contributing towards making the Oxford Branch a great success.