Watch: Celebrity chef Prue Leith praises efforts of Shropshire hospital catering team

Celebrity chef Prue Leith has praised the efforts of the catering team at Shropshire’s orthopaedic hospital who have been supporting an independent review of hospital food.

Celebrity chef Prue Leith
Celebrity chef Prue Leith

The aim of the review, for which Prue was the advisor – working alongside food and health professionals – is to ensure patients and staff from across the NHS benefit from tastier, healthier and better-quality meals.

Members of the catering team at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) formed part of an exemplar group of NHS caterers, dietitians and nurses, who have worked and helped to lead on implementing the review’s recommendations for tastier, more nutritious food for patients and staff.

The catering team at RJAH are no strangers to glowing plaudits, having been highlighted in the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Adult Inpatient Survey for producing and serving the best food in the country for the 14th year out of 15, back in 2020.

The hospital, near Oswestry, also consistently records strong results as part of the annual patient-led assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) survey, which considers food and service quality.

To recognise the team’s hard work and high standards, Prue has recorded a special video message for them.

Watch Prue's message here:

In the video, she says: “I’m Prue Leith, mostly known as a cook. But I was also the advisor to the recent hospital food review for the government, and that review made recommendations about improving hospital food for patients and for staff.

"We made eight recommendations, and I’m happy to say that the government has accepted all eight and has put the money behind implementing them.

“Of course some hospitals already do a magnificent job on catering and one such is The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry, and I really have to congratulate them because for 14 out of the last 15 years, they have come top in patient surveys for good catering and good food generally.

The hospital's catering team pictured before the pandemic in 2019

“They will help other hospitals and there are a few of these exemplar hospitals, who have committed themselves to helping other hospitals, that are struggling with it.

"If you want to know how they managed to meet all the recommendations and how they plan to even improve on that, then they are included within this link.

"I would advise you to do it, it’s well worth a read.”

Sian Langford, facilities compliance manager at RJAH, said: “We were absolutely delighted to be asked to support this crucial review of hospital food and would like to thank Prue for her kind words and recognition of this.

“Nutritious, high-quality but also tasty food is essential for not just our patients but also our staff, who are caring for our patients, and our catering team work extremely hard to ensure that is what they get.”

Laura Peill, managing director of support services at RJAH, added: “A huge well done to our fantastic catering team for their consistent hard work.

“This recognition is richly deserved and a true testament to the efforts and care they put into ensuring our patients and staff are served the very best food at an NHS hospital.

"I am very proud of the team here and I know they’re thrilled with this amazing recognition from none other than Prue Leith herself.”

More information, including the eight recommendations being taken forward, are available to see at www.gov.uk/government/news/new-blueprint-for-better-hospital-food

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