Skip to main content
Search Results

Phil Shelley highlights importance of empowering public sector caterers

1st Mar 2024 - 07:00
Phil Shelley, chair of the Hospital Food Review
Phil Shelley, who chaired of the Hospital Food Review and heads Net Zero initiatives at NHS England, has emphasised the importance of inspiring public sector caterers to drive change and implement seasonal, healthy and nutritious menus.

His comments came as part of a panel discussion at a climate summit hosted by FM services provider Compass UK & Ireland held at the QEII centre in London On February 28th.

He was on a panel chaired by Mike Barry, former director of sustainable business at M&S, and included James Buckley, executive head chef at Levy UK + Ireland, Anya Doherty, founder and chief executive of Foodsteps, and Meg Longworth, director of nutrition at Chartwells.

Phil said: “Carolyn Ball mentioned right at the beginning culture and that’s been a big thing for me on two aspects. First of all about people and how we change that mentality about how they can actually drive the change. And also the culture of food through the NHS in particular and thinking about how the balance of a menu should sit.”

Phil believes that patients in hospitals should be given seasonal menus that reflect the region they are in. He aims to empower hospital caterers to flex the menus. Phil noted that for the first time in a long while doctors now have food and nutrition back on their education programme.

He added: “Knowledge is power. We are talking to colleges now to ensure that there is a route into public sector for those chefs because they naturally go into the hotel and restaurant trade. A couple of things we done recently is we took six NHS chefs to the House of Commons who cooked for health ministers to actually show them what a patient meal looks like.

“Working with the team and David Foad we have the Public Sector Catering Awards that are coming up. The School Chef of the Year, Care Chef of the Year and NHS Chefs of the Year have helped to develop the menus. The dessert is so good that it is now on a hospitality menu. We can try and change and its exciting."

Phil Shelley informed attendees that The Chefs’ Forum will unveil ‘The Healthcare Chefs’ Knowledge’ cookbook on 25th March 2024 at the Hotel, Restaurant and Caterer show. The book, which contains over 100 NHS-approved recipes, showcases the latest advancements in patient, staff and visitor catering across the NHS.

Anya praised Compass for ‘showing ambition’ in releasing their first transition plan. Compass Group UK & Ireland achieved a 9.4% emissions reduction inclusive of 20% business growth (FY19 baseline – FY23, Scope 1,2,3).

James said: “We are all on this journey and if everyone just improves 10-15%, small changes can make a massive difference. What we teach today will become natural in a year or two. We have just got to keep going and keep communicating.”

When asked what piece of advice she would give attendees, Meg encouraged them to educate and engage with children to get them on-board with this journey towards a more sustainable future.

Written by
Edward Waddell