Andy Jones has become the new chairman of the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA).
He was elected to the position at the association’s Annual General Meeting this month and has taken over from Janice Gillan, who has now completed her two-year term of office.
Jones has been an active member of the HCA for more than 20 years and was awarded the HCA Caterer of the Year title in 2007 and has been the national vice chairman of the association for the past two years. He was also the chairman of the HCA West Midlands branch which he represented on the HCA National Council from 2008-2013 and he serves on the HCA National Executive Committee.
A stalwart of patient catering for more than 30 years, his commitment to patient nutrition and hydration means he is currently involved in the Government’s nutritional action plan and is also on working groups with the healthcare commission. He is also helping with the revision of standards with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and was part of the HCA working party with the Department of Health looking at food governance and the review of the PEAT audit process.
As a trained and qualified chef, he believes it is important that whichever method of food preparation a hospital utilises – whether fresh food cooked on the premises or cook chill/cook freeze – it is vital the highest standards are in place to make sure it reaches the patient in optimum condition and so contributes to their wellbeing and recovery.
Having started his career in 1981 at Leicester General Hospital, he currently holds the position of service development director for leading NHS and health care catering private contractor, ISS Facility Services – Healthcare, Education and Defence.
Commenting on his appointment, he said: “While we must continually aim for higher levels of service for our patients, staff and visitors to meet their expectations, we are facing major challenges as significant savings and economies have to be made in all areas of the NHS over the coming years.
Maintaining high-quality hospital food, sourced as sustainably as possible and operating cost-effective, efficient catering services within a National Health Service that is facing the biggest budget cuts since it began, is going to be demanding for all hospital catering managers. I am, therefore, committed to ensuring that the HCA provides the necessary support and tools to enable them to continue to deliver a dynamic service that meets patient expectations. As the incoming chairman of the HCA, I will be focused on spearheading campaigns and initiatives that will enable hospital caterers to not only continue to achieve those high standards but most importantly, safeguard the nutritional care of all of our patients.”