South West Branch News

From Jane Wills

The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital kindly hosted our recent Branch meeting, which once again was very well attended. Our Chair, Karoline Rowlands, thanked Shirley Jones (Retail Manager), Claire Wright (Acting Service Manager) and Ed Glover (Patient’s Meal Service Manager and Assistant Facilities Manager for their hospitality).

Shirley spoke about the retail catering service she manages: onsite there are four cafés, two buffet bars and the Oasis restaurant. The retail outlets are very popular with staff and visitors’ alike, with freshly cooked seasonal food available and menus changed regularly. Healthy eating is promoted at the ‘Naked salad bar’ and there are themed bars that offer different food to promote events such as Burns Night and the Chinese New Year.

The hospital has 600 patients on 30 wards to feed on a daily basis. The regeneration trolleys are kept in the main kitchen, and the catering staff – who are ward-based – come down every meal time to load the cold items on to their own trolleys, giving them regular contact with the team in the main kitchen and making them feel part of that team.

Ed spoke to the Branch about the 11 community hospitals he oversees: eight only hold clinics so he manages the cleaning services there, and three have approximately 70 inpatients to provide a cook-freeze meals service using a two-week menu.

Simon Bryon-Edmond from Chunk Pies and Pasties spoke to the Branch with passion about the company he and his wife Suzie have been running for the last 13 years. The company is based in Ottery St Mary in Devon. The company produces 10,000 – 15,000 products per day and employs 45 staff. Simon spoke about their products being “tasty, special and natural” and only quality natural ingredients are used, ensuring the end product is packed with flavour. Chunks’ products are rarely found in a supermarket because they are mainly sold direct to farm shops, pie shacks, sporting venues, local shops and the NHS.

Karoline Rowlands then welcomed Catherine Fletcher into the role of Branch Treasurer. Catherine has embraced this role and has received excellent induction training from Caroline Darvill, former Branch Treasurer. Catherine assured the Branch that she would strive to continue the excellent standard that had been set. As a Branch we currently have a very strong membership of 93 and Life Membership was agreed for Mike Newport and Trevor Chacksfield.

Finally, we had a discussion about the recent Foodbuy meeting and the issues that have arisen. Another meeting has been set up to discuss this topic in more depth.

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