Catering Services

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Catering Services in Our Hospitals

The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Catering Service provides more than 1,417,528 meals for patients across its five hospital sites annually and served 518,676 staff and visitors in our restaurants. We also served 280,728 customers in The Shop@The Royal and sold over 53,424 Costa coffees.

We constantly measure the performance of our services by:

  • Asking Patients what they think using our patient meal experience questionnaire. These surveys are circulated daily to wards for inpatients to complete and the results are collated by the Catering Services Managers. Where possible, any complaints are acted upon immediately and if this is not possible, they are discussed at the monthly catering meetings, where discussions are held in a bid to find a solution to prevent a reoccurrence. Recommendations are also discussed with all the Trust Catering Services Managers alongside the Associate Director of Facilities, to see if the recommendations can be implemented Trust wide. All compliments are forwarded to the catering staff to help improve morale and confirm that their work is appreciated by service users.
  • Undertaking meal service audits with Trust Dieticians and Matrons to ensure all patients receive the help and support they require during meal time. As part of the audit, they ensure patients who require help with eating are identified by receiving their meal on a red tray, malnutrition universal screening tool (MUST) charts are completed in order to be able to monitor patient food and fluid intake, ensure water jugs are refreshed when dicatated by the use of coloured lids. 
  • Working with patient groups by inviting them into our hospitals as part of the PLACE assessments, to make improvements to our services. 
  • 'From the kitchen to the ward' audits are also undertaken, which include matrons, catering managers and dieticians. These audits start at the kitchen and follow the meal service through to the ward to identify any issues which need to be resolved, to ensure that patients receive the meal they ordered and that it is served at the correct temperature.


Striving for Improvement

We always strive to improve the catering services provided and frequently include patient representatives when reviewing our menus and dishes. We ask for their opinions and preferences and ensure our menus reflect their views.

We often invite members of the public to food tasting events held in our restaurants and ask them to evaluate new dishes for the patient and staff menus. Patients who attend these events are given an overview of the catering department, and have said that they find these events beneficial.

Working in Partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS)

The Trust works in close partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) to provide shops and cafes on our hospital sites. Nationally, the RVS has over 450 hospital shops and cafes, which provide convenient, great value refreshments and food for patients, staff and visitors. The cafes and shops provide a welcoming place within our hospitals to take a break.

Over £6million was raised last year through sales in RVS shops and cafes, and this money was gifted back to hospitals to improve services and equipment for older people in hospital or within local communities.

The RVS are expanding patient services within hospitals. So as well as the refreshment trolleys and welcome desks, they are now training their volunteers to offer befriending services to older people on wards, particularly when family live far away or friends can only visit during the evenings and weekends. They also provide support to older people before their stay in hospital by arranging care for their pets or by providing lifts to hospital. Support is also provided for patients in the vital first few weeks after they come out of hospital to help their recovery, and this can include simple things such as daily visits to check if they need anything.

PLACE Assessments

In our recent PLACE assessment, 42 patient assessors and 4 external assessors, including the Department of Health, participated in the food and hydration aspect of our PLACE assessment trust wide. The assessment included organisation questions, meal service at ward level, as well as sampling food for taste, texture and temperature.

Overall, we scored 89.76% for our food and hydration assessment against the national average of 84.98%, and we have acknowledged where we can improve for PLACE 2014. The Trust Catering Managers are now working hard in the hope of improving our 2013 PLACE scores.

Paul Roberts from the Department of Health attended our PLACE assessment at Fairfield General Hospital on 5 June 2013 and some of his comments included: "I was impressed with every aspect that was examined in the assessment. The food was good and well presented, and the wards I visited were clean. Staff were always pleasant, courteous and helpful and were a credit to the Trust."

You can read our PLACE report and summary action plan by clicking here.

The assessment forms that formed part of the Food and Hydration PLACE assessment in 2013 can be found at: