For my part, I’d like to acknowledge all working in the many aspects of Healthcare catering.
This sector depends so much on the character of those involved, and it’s something I’m proud to see and be a part of everyday. In an environment that can often lack a public perception of prestige, unparallel levels of resilience and character has been shown through the continued work of those working in healthcare. More than ever, my team and I at Aramark have been organised, re-organised and adapted throughout the pandemic with a near single focus – to not only ensure that safe working practices are there, but that they are communicated, understand and appreciated by everyone in the workplace.
It goes without saying that the past number of months have shown great change in a short period of time. In our wider business, we acknowledged and changed how we communicate with colleagues and highlighted those that are excelling in any area of their work. Communicating with colleagues over MS Teams would one time have been seen as not workable in a culinary environment, but it has shown to be necessary solution and a positive source of leadership in a time of greatest need.
Throughout this period a focus on innovation through food has helped to focus on the work that is also enjoyable – which is easy to forget with so much pressure and stress in our lives. Seeing someone make a Christmas dinner for an alternate diet in a simple, achievable way that will improve calorific intake and enjoyment from the service user is one such example that comes to mind, but I’m proud to say that I’m surrounding by innovation and implementation that serves our clients health in every way possible.
My learning from Covid-19 is that communicative, connected and collaborative teams are productive teams. Simple solutions come from people involved in the everyday working environment who have the needs of the service user as centre to what they do. The pandemic has shown that any industry, big or small, simple or complex, can change quickly with the focus of all involved.
Focusing on the food will bring pride and enjoyment to all involved in the multidisciplinary teams that ensure service users are catered for, and I look forward to being a part of it. Finally, I know that we will all continue to be stronger, more resilient and more capable by continuing to pull together during these times of greatest need.
Executive Chef for Healthcare and Head Chef of Mayo University Hospital