The startling statistic was revealed as the hospital’s Catering Team read the final of the prestigious Public Sector Catering Awards 2021.
The pandemic brought huge challenges for the catering team as they had to deal with new restrictions, including the inability of staff to eat on wards, social distancing and the use of PPE
Now they have been shortlisted in the ‘Team of the Year’ category for their outstanding commitment and contribution in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The team provides a range of hot food, snacks and drinks for both patients and staff throughout the busy hospital.
Social distancing requirements, the use of PPE and many other infection prevention measures introduced in response to the pandemic, presented significant challenges for catering services.
With staff no longer able to eat in ward areas, catering workload doubled from 1,000 to 2,000 meals served, 24 hours each day from the temporary marquee.
Transporting food from kitchens, menu variety, storage, introducing contactless pay systems and managing food and drink donations from the community were all issues to contend with whilst continuing to prioritise patient meals.
Paying tribute to her catering team, Anita Carroll, Assistant Director of Functional Support Services said: “Like other support services including domestic services, switchboard, laundry and portering, the catering team are greatly valued for ensuring the effective running of our hospitals.
“Despite the unprecedented logistical challenges of the pandemic and their own workforce issues, the team has worked tirelessly and creatively, always going that extra mile, to continue their high quality service to patients and staff.
“Despite their own worries of working through the pandemic, our catering team have always offered a welcoming food service and friendly conversation to their front line colleagues during their much needed breaks.
“They have remained very positive, supporting each other, with the whole experience strengthening their sense of teamwork and morale,” said Anita.
“I am absolutely delighted that they have received this very much deserved recognition.”
Winners will be announced at the national awards ceremony on 9th September in London.
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