The HCA South West branch, which is the host of this year’s event, says the theme it has chosen is both a call to action for HCA members and a re-assurance that catering teams are the ‘experts’ on the subject and need to be listened to.
The Forum will look in detail at a number of significant issues facing the industry. In England key guidance has emerged from the Hospital Food Review and, although delayed, progress on the National Food Strategy and Government Food Buying Standards is still expected.
Across the devolved nations the service continues to move ahead of England on key strategic goals, and delegates can look forward to sharing and discussing these developments.
Dr Rupy Aujla, known for his work on culinary medicine and a well-known face on TV screens, will be the Forum Facilitator for 2023. His clinical knowledge, combined with his passion for healthy and nutritious food, gives him a unique perspective on hospital food that will undoubtedly mean some penetrative questioning of our speakers.
The programme highlights include the Labour Party view of the Hospital Food Review and government strategy linked to hospital catering, from Sharon Hodgson MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary to Sir Kier Starmer.
A perspective from senior nurses will be provided by Ruth May, Chief Nurse of England and her deputy Kate Pye. They will be joined by Charlotte Fairall, founder of Sophie’s Legacy. Sophie died of cancer at the age of just ten and her mother Charlotte set up the organisation to highlight and drive through change she identified was needed in the hospital catering service.
The HCA President, the Rt Hon Lord Hunt of Kings Heath will update delegates and there is a panel session that will look at National Healthcare Food and Drink Standards. Iain Robertson, catering manager at Solent NHS Trust, Lauren Bowen, head of patient foodservice with ISS and Dr Ruw Abeyratne, director of health equality and inclusion at University Hospitals of Leicester will speak and take questions from Dr Rupy and delegates.
Alongside the forum nearly 90 exhibitors will promote their products and services to delegates over the two days. On the evening of April 20th the HCA will host its President’s Awards Dinner, during which some stand-out caterers and teams will be celebrated for their performances and achievements over the last year.