HCA Publications

HCA Journal

HCA Journal Published six times a year, this colour A4 Magazine is the official journal of the Hospital Caterers Association and is distributed throughout the NHS to catering and hotel services managers at all levels. The Journal is specifically designed to inform members of the developments taking place within the industry, new working practices, technical innovations as well as providing a practical guide to purchasing.

Contributions are welcome from members and non members - please contact Judith Hindley on 0161 872 6667, if you have any ideas for articles or would like to see any particular topics covered in the next journal.

Remember -
This is a Journal for Hospital Caterers written by Hospital Caterers!

We depend on contributions to make the Journal what it is - so use it to publicise your branch, your members or your products/services.

HCA Good Practice Guides

Healthcare Food and Beverage Service Standards

A Good Practice Guide to ward level services – Healthcare Food and Beverage Service Standards

Additional copies can be purchased by completing the following order form and either emailing to hca@lansdownepublishing.com or faxing back to Lansdowne Publishing on 0161 872 6665.


There is widespread public concern about the food and hydration service in the NHS and many initiatives have been put in place since the launch of the Better Hospital Food Programme by the Department of Health in 2001. More…

To view the Contents of the Guide click here.

The Good Practice Guide provides a framework for nurses and other healthcare practitioners at all levels. It has the potential to really make a difference to the nutritional status of people when they are in hospital and has received endorsements for the following organisations click here.

Retail and Commercial Service Standards

Retail and Commercial Service Standards
An operational guide to services

All members have received a complimentary copy of the above publication.

Additional copies can be purchased by completing the following order form and faxing back to Lansdowne Publishing on 0161 872 6665.


Council of Europe Resolution Food and Nutritional Care in Hospitals

cover of Council of Europe ResolutionThe Council of Europe Resolution contains the 10 key characteristics of good nutritional care in hospitals, recommendations to the Government of the member states and the five broad areas of the resolution.

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Healthcare Solutions

Dysphagia cover

Dysphagia and Dementia, A Caterer's Guide

A good practical guide regarding dysphagia and dementia has been put together by a food supplier, a copy of which can be downloaded by clicking the link below.

Download your copy now


Dysphagia Diet Food Texture Descriptors

Dysphagia Diet Food Texture Descriptors

Dysphagia Diet Food Descriptors which have been endorsed by all the relevant groups of the working party are now available and are recommended to be adopted for use by all to reduce the incidents of confusion.

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HCA Guide to Crohn’s Disease and Menu Ideas

Crohn's coverA Guide to Crohn's Disease and menu ideas has been produced by the HCA in partnership with For Crohns, a copy of which can be downloaded by clicking the link below.

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Preventing Waste in the Healthcare sector

ScreenshotWRAP and HCA are pleased to announce that we have completed Webcasts that you should use with your teams as a training tool and to generate ideas/debate on how you can reduce WASTE.

Click to view webcasts

Menu planning for preventing food waste

WRAP Menu PlanningProduced by WRAP, the menu planning webcast assists you in reducing the impact of waste, which we are all aware is a key focus to us all. This builds upon the work we did jointly last year with the screencasts which offer a step-by-step guide enabling hospital caterers to reduce food and associated packaging waste and to recycle more.

This webcast series:

  • gives an overview of waste in the healthcare sector;
  • identifies food waste prevention opportunities;
  • provides advice to help healthcare facilities prevent food waste and realise the associated cost savings; and
  • introduces WRAP’s business support including tools and guidance available under WRAP’s Hospitality and Food Service.

Click to view webcast

Allergen Toolkit for Healthcare Catering

Allergen ToolkitThe Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) and The Association of UK Dietitians (BDA), through its Food Counts! specialist group, have worked together to produce and launch a new toolkit that addresses food allergies/intolerances within healthcare catering settings.

Download your copy now

HCA Strategy Document 2013-2017

HCA Stategy DocumentThe Strategy Document has been developed by the HCA Executive and approved by Council for the benefit of the Association and its members. The document describes the key activities, the challenges facing members and outlines future plans for the association.

Download your copy now

The Nutrition and Hydration Digest

The Nutrition and Hydration DigestImproving Outcomes through Food and Beverage Services.
Produced by The Food Counts Group in consultation with The British Dietetic Association.

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Essential Standards of Quality and Safety

Essential standards of quality and safety Care Quality Commission Guidance about compliance.
What providers should do to comply with the section 20 regulations of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

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Provider Compliance Assessment

Provider Compliance Assessment Outcome 5Care Qualtiy Commission – Outcome 5 (Regulation 14) – Meeting nutritional needs.

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Observation prompts and guidance for monitoring compliance

Outcome 5: Meeting nutritional needsGuidance for CQC inspectors. Outcome 5: Meeting nutritional needs.
Produced jointly by the Care Quality Commission and the Royal College of Nursing.

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Department of Health Hospital Food and Drink Strategy

DOH StrategyA Department of Health toolkit to support the development of a hospital food and drink strategy.

For further information and comment please see the following link https://prezi.com/dinu1va4fv63/hospital-food-standards-report/

Download your copy now

The Hospital Food Standards Panel’s report on standards for food and drink in NHS hospitals and PLACE scores

The Hospital Food Standards Panel’s reportAn independent group established by the Department of Health and led by Dianne Jeffrey, Chairman of Age UK.

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Download a copy of the PLACE scores

All Wales Nutrition and Catering Standards for Food and Fluid Provision for Hospital Inpatients

All Wales Nutrition and Catering Standards

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Quality Improvement Scotland ‘Food, Fluid and Nutrition Care’

Quality Improvement ScotlandThese standards are designed to drive improvements in the recognition of malnutrition, in hospital catering, and in the promotion of a strategic and co-ordinated approach to food, fluid and nutritional care in NHS boards.

Download your copy now

Northern Ireland Food Standards

Northern Ireland Food StandardsThe Northern Ireland Nursing Care Standards for patient food in hospital.

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Patient Safety Alert – by NHS England

Thickening Agent Dysphagia (swallowing problems) occurs in all care settings1 and as caterers we know the importance of providing dysphagia food and drink is essential to the patient’s recovery, but we know fully that it has to be done correctly and safely.

The National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) database has identified patient safety incidents where harm has been caused by the accidental swallowing of the powder, when it had not been properly stored out of reach.

Download report

Guidance – Commissioning Excellent Nutrition and Hydration 2015–2018

Nutrition and HydrationThe HCA has been part of a National Strategic Advisory Group that includes representatives from the National Association of Care Caterers, Age UK and the British Dietetic Association. This group has created new guidance launched by NHS England on 'commissioning excellent nutrition and hydration'.

The document outlines why commissioners should make nutrition and hydration a priority; how to tackle the problems; how to assess the impact of commissioned services; how commissioners have begun to tackle the problems; and further resources to help commissioners address the issue.

Download a copy of the guidance

BDA Food Services Nutrition Toolkit for Healthcare Catering

Nutritional Toolkit for Healthcare CateringThe BDA Food Services Specialist Group has compiled the following toolkit about the steps that must be taken in order to comply with the nutrition labelling requirements set out in Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 on the provision of Food Information to Consumers (EU FIC), due to come into force on the 13th December 2016.

Download a copy of the Toolkit