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HCA National Conference 2011 Lean and Green
Article Type: Conference reports From: Nutrition & Food Science, Volume 41, Issue 4
March 7-9 Royal Hall at Harrogate International Conference Centre and the Majestic Hotel
“L£AN & green” was the theme for the HCA’s 2011 National Conference and the conference demonstrated how hospital caterers all need to be doing more for less without affecting quality.
Hosted by the Yorkshire Branch, and held on the “right” side of the Pennines in Harrogate, Conference 2011 was staged within the wonderful surroundings of the recently renovated Royal Hall at Harrogate International Conference Centre and the Majestic Hotel.
The conference examined the primary issues for 2011 with two action packed days of sessions, supported by an impressive trade exhibition.
The key themes for the NHS focused on the provision of efficient and cost-effective services which should be both “L£AN & green”. From a L£AN perspective, hospital caterers all know that they are facing significant financial challenges and extremely lean years are ahead. This means they will all be required to be more effective and more efficient, to minimise waste, and do more for less without affecting quality – undoubtedly a tough challenge.
The conference explored the “NHS Lean Improvement Programme” and how this has been used to demonstrate efficiencies by considering case studies on the productive ward, and the way that this process of releasing time to care can improve the patient meal service. Issues of asset utilisation, and how to maximise income by marketing services, and reduce overall operating costs were examined.
The dictionary definition of “lean” covers a wide range of subjects and links in with other initiatives were important to NHS caterers in 2010/2011, namely, the “Boorman Report” and the “Healthier Food Mark”, anticipated to be launched in England.
It, also examined the priorities identified in “Food 2030”, particularly around the provision of a healthy sustainable diet, reducing both food waste and food miles.
It was 13 years since the Association’s National Conference was held in Harrogate, but I am sure many delegates will remember the warm welcome and Yorkshire hospitality that they received, as well as Betty’s famous teashop!
A number of members took advantage of opportunity to visit over 80 leading hospital catering suppliers who will be exhibiting and demonstrating their products and services. This exhibition was free on the Tuesday, which was really helpful to local members and those interested in the subject.