Our January Branch meeting was held at the Butterfly Hotel in Bury St Edmunds and celebrated the retirement of Trevor Colcomb from the HCA. Trevor didn’t know about the celebrations and it was Kevin Cowley’s job to get him to the venue on time.
There were two presentations on the agenda for the main meeting. The first was by Susan Clarke, a Prescribing Support Dietician, who talked about nutrition in dysphagia. The presentation was well received and lots of questions were asked. Nutrition in dysphagia is becoming a hot topic and it’s important our caterers have the skills and knowledge to know how to support patients.
The second presentation was by Toby Hartley, Account Manager for Foodbuy/NHS Supply Chain for our region. Toby explained what NHS Supply Chain was looking to achieve with regard to improving the service throughput to them, as per the recommendations by Lord Carter. There was lots of interesting discussions about the service, goods, deliveries, the online platform and how the end user interacted with NHS Supply Chain.
Toby explained that Foodbuy/NHS Supply Chain had arranged six food forums across England for NHS procurement, caterers and facilities managers to attend. These forums will give the users an opportunity to feed back their concerns, discuss the benefits and also how they can improve the service to the end users and NHS Trusts.
Barry Wells, our newly appointed Chairman, outlined his vision for the Branch over the next 12 months and how he wanted to see an increase in membership from NHS caterers.
Barry told the Branch how the committee had met in January and agreed this year’s calendar of events. It includes afternoon tea at Norwich city College, our annual Newmarket Race event (Thriller), the Branch study day and much more.
The meeting then closed and it was time to celebrate Trevor’s retirement. A few surprise faces were in attendance: Carole Lendrum, Carole Clarke, Anne Soutar and Riva Knight, all ex NHS caterers wanting to wish Trevor well.
The hotel laid on a lovely buffet and the drinks flowed well. Kevin Cowley (passing Chair) thanked Trevor for all his hard work and commitment to the Branch and the HCA over the last 20 years and plotted a brief history of where Trevor had started his career and how he became a Member of the HCA (see page 27 for further information). Anne Soutar helped Kevin by providing background knowledge and interesting facts for him to use for his speech.
Trevor was then presented with vouchers, an engraved knife and a camper van cake to wish him well in his retirement. We all then got together to take a group photo to remember this momentous occasion, and the photo is now on our Twitter page @ea_caterers
Trevor thanked everyone for their kind words and presents and said he was looking forward to his retirement.