No one likes to be in hospital for Christmas but for those who find themselves there, hospital caterers up and down the country did their best to bring a bit of festive cheer to the day.
2016 was no different with nearly 400,000 Christmas lunches served across the nation on December 25th.
At many hospitals including Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, Somerset Partnership NHS Trust and many more, patients were treated to a full roast turkey lunch accompanied by fresh fruit, mince pies and Christmas cake, served with crackers and napkins.
At Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lyn, not only were patients treated to a full turkey roast with all the trimmings, they also delivered a whole cooked turkey to their children’s ward on a hot trolley so the ward staff could carve and serve the children directly.
Like many others, North East Fife in Scotland supplied a cooked breakfast and a full Christmas dinner as well as a buffet in the evening. With one of the porters at Adamson Hospital, Cupar Fife Scotland going so far as to dress up as Santa. This was followed through at New Year with a cooked breakfast, steak pie and trimmings and a buffet in the evenings.
Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock, noted it operated at 90% bed capacity during the Christmas period and during New Year weekend it was at 100%. With no let up, many HCA members and NHS catering staff provided a full and enhanced catering service during the busy holiday period.
It wasn’t just patients that were looked after, at Pennine Acute Hospital NHS Trust, staff were treated to a free cooked breakfast.
Phil Shelley, HCA National Chair comments: “As an association we are very proud of the work and commitment of our members, especially all of those who go that extra mile at difficult times such as Christmas. We accept unsociable working days and times as part of the job and with Christmas falling on a Sunday in 2016, NHS catering is truly a seven day a week, all year round service.”
He continues: “With the rise of malnutrition, nutrition and hydration has never been more important for patients recovering in hospital. Good nutrition which is patient led, is at the heart of every HCA member, and we are here to provide it 52 weeks of the year, every year.” In a statement issued pre-Christmas, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt praised all those who worked Christmas day: “I want to thank everyone across our health and care system, from the cooks making hundreds of thousands of Christmas dinners to the cleaners, nurses, doctors, care workers, paramedics and countless other staff making sure patients get outstanding care this Christmas. No-one wants to be away from home over Christmas but I know that staff are again pulling out all the stops so patients have the best possible time. Across the UK, around a million people will be working on 25 December.”
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