Chair of the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) Brian Robb outlines a number of challenges facing colleagues in the sector in a new interview he has done as part of the Public Sector Catering 'most influential' list of people. In it he highlights the particularly dire situation they face in hiring new staff and holding on to existing workers who are being lured away by higher pay elsewhere.
Brian, who represents NHS catering teams throughout the four home nations, says that inflation not only hits their budgets but is forcing kitchen staff to seek better pay in other parts of the industry to cope with the impact of a rising cost of living at home.
He adds that although overall inflation is bad enough at the 10% or so it's been for a while, food inflation has been at a much higher rate, with some product prices rising up to 50%.
He also warns of the dangers created by shortages of some foodstuffs, which is leading to product changes at short notice.
"We've all got electronic systems we're programmed into and we thought we'd be able to manage our allergens a lot more safely, but these constant changes we're having to make with ingredients - at some point human error could play a part. I hope it doesn't happen."
View the full list of the Most Influential in Public Sector Catering 2022