NCA win Team of the Year at national HEFMA Awards

NCA Hefma win
NCA win Team of the Year at national HEFMA Awards
29 September 2020

Staff from within the catering, estates and facilities teams at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group are celebrating after being named as Team of the Year 2020 at the national Health Estates and Facilities Management Association (HEFMA) awards.

The team, made up of staff from across Salford Royal, The Royal Oldham Hospital, Fairfield General Hospital, Rochdale Infirmary and also including North Manchester General Hospital were nominated for the collaborative work which they undertook to deliver significant and sustainable service improvements, enabling staff, patients and visitors of the Jewish faith, to have access to safe and clean Shabbos rooms within the hospitals.  A Shabbos room is a place to rest while observing the Sabbath on Saturdays, when observant Jews should obey a number of rules, such as not driving, using electronic devices or cooking.

The designated Shabbos rooms are available for members of the Jewish faith community 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  They offer a place for rest, access to fresh hot and cold kosher food, with warming facilities and cold storage, and assurance, through the conduction of regular audits and adherence to health and safety regulations, that the room and facilities are safe, clean and fit for purpose.

Rob Jepson, Group Deputy Director of Capital, Estates and Facilities, said: “We are delighted to be named as the national Team of the Year by HEFMA, which is the national guidance body for estates and facilities management. As the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, we recognised the importance of Shabbos rooms in our hospitals and working with key stakeholders including the local Jewish faith communities and Jewish charitable voluntary sector, we have provided improved facilities for members of the Jewish faith to rest and access food and drink in accordance with Jewish dietary laws, and supplied in a safe, welcoming and calm space.” 

The Ezra Care charity work with the NCA to help provide the Shabbos rooms and their volunteers ensure that the rooms are well stocked with provisions and are kept clean.  Rachel Stern from Ezra Care said: “We congratulate the staff of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group for this well-deserved award and we are delighted to partner with such an accommodating and inclusive team. The Shabbos rooms are of such an importance to the Jewish community, allowing them to practice and observe their faith in peace and serenity, when faced with the most challenging of circumstances. We thank the team for all their support and look forward to continuing and developing our partnership.”

The team were chosen from a shortlist of 14 others and were crowned the winners at a virtual ceremony on 29 September by HEFMA national chair, Jonathan Stewart. The ceremony was broadcast live on social media

Pictured left to right:  Michael Bamberger from  Ezra Care; Louise Simpson, Group Senior Nurse – Estates & Facilities - Northern Care Alliance NHS Group; Howard Cartledge, Group Head of Catering – Northern Care Alliance NHS Group; Rachel Stern from  Ezra Care and Ian Inglis – Chaplaincy Manager at Northern Care Alliance NHS Group.