Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Hospital Caterer's Association (HCA) Conference 2008
Article Type: Conference reports From: Nutrition & Food Science, Volume 38, Issue 4.
The title of the conference was “A Diamond Life – past successes and future challenges”.
The conference was held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole 17-18th April 2008.
This was the 60th anniversary conference of the Hospital Caterer's Association (HCA) hence the title a Diamond Life.
The conference was attended by over 200 delegates from the hospitals and a further 250 from commercial organisations.
Each year, the HCA hold a conference, which explores latest research and excellent practice in hospital catering.
A trade exhibition of foods, equipment, computer systems and other products of interest accompany the conference to hospital caterers. This year there were over 80 trade stands at the conference and on the Thursday attendance at this exhibition is free, which provides an excellent way of those with an interest in hospital catering but with a limited training budget a way of updating. It also enables several staff to be able to attend the exhibition.
There was a well-varied and innovative conference programme with presentations on:
the collaborative work that the National Patient Safety Agency is involved in on nutrition;
the project on Food in Hospitals in Scotland and the launch of the document by the same name there;
making time to care giving good practical examples of innovative practice;
nutrition and the Elderly Patient in Hospital from the Director of Age Concern who discussed the document called Hungry to Be Heard produced by Age Concern;
coeliac disease – a toolkit for hospitals as produced by Coeliac UK;
food for thought from a chef who wants to add glamour to the role of hospital caterers;
the changing face of the workforce;
local supply of hospital foods with examples of good practice;
the HCA good practice guide for retail and commercial service standards;
managing the learning environment with a focus on the need for life long learning and how this can be managed; and
There were also two motivational presentations to empower people to take change forward and make a difference in their work situation.
There was ample time for net-working.
For information on the HCA and future HCA events go to the website www.hospitalcaterers.org/conference