HEFMA SW collaborates with ahcp and HCA in the first joint training seminar at Eastwood Park

In the continued spirit of collaboration and learning, HEFMA South West training group held its first joint training session with ahcp (Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals) and HCA (Hospital Caterers Association) last month. 

The Quality Matters seminar was designed to encourage estates & FM to bridge the gap and develop working as one. It took place at Eastwood Park’s training centre in South Gloucestershire, attracting over 50 E&FM professionals from around the country.

Among the topics addressed by Phil Shelley, Facilities Manager at Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust was the subject of quality and nutrition of food in hospitals and how the challenges of changing patient food needs are being met, including how retail catering fits into the mix.

This was followed by Chris Neale, Assistant Head of Estates & Facilities and Nicola Strawther, Chief Dietetic Technician from Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, who jointly presented on the wide topic of ‘Food as Medicine’.  This took us through research about what patients want on their menu, when recovering, through to the power of social media in campaigns such as #end PJ paralysis, #nuhmemory menu, #EDfit2sit etc and the benefits of higher quality and more nutritious food on the impact of recovery and shorter hospital stays. 

The seminar then addressed some staggering facts and figures on the topic of ‘Food Waste’, led by Michael Banks, Head of Facilities from 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, not least that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted globally every year and how this related to waste in his own Trust. Michael explained how we can utilise ERIC data to benchmark the cost of food waste and identify areas that require greater focus.  This was followed by some useful guidance on ways to control and minimise the impact of food waste both in the NHS and as individuals.

Afterwards, Richard Ashton, Operations & Compliance Manager and Laura Harvey, Senior Facilities Manager at Gloucestershire Care Services, took the group through the pilot sites that are collecting new data on hospital cleaning, which will in turn impact on new standards being rolled out over 2019/20.

The last presentation of the morning was by Emma Brookes, Senior Strategy and Policy Lead – Soft FM, NHS Estates and Facilities Efficiency and Productivity Division, NHS Improvement, who’s role is to support soft FM streams, including encompassing how cleanliness works at ground level and the need for national standards for food in healthcare and much more.

The day concluded with a session on the model hospital led by Adrian Eggleton, Deputy Director Estates and Facilities 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, chair of HEFMA South West and soon to be EFM Operational Lead at NHS Improvement.  He demonstrated how to gain information from the model and how to utilise the information provided, along with NHS Improvement’s recently launched Collaboration Hub which members can use as a tool to communicate with those with the same issues. Delegates were encouraged to request access to the new hub via email - nhsi.efmportalsubmissions@nhs.net.

The day concluded with a probing question and answer session and as Phil Shelley, commented “It is so encouraging to have associations and organisations working together for a common goal. We need to be adaptable, flexible and work together. As leaders, together, we can do more to move things forward, not least by acting as role models and championing health and well-being and inspire our staff and teams.”

Neil Hughes, Strategic Head of Estates, EFM, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust added: “From a non-soft FM professional, the day was really informative, enlightening and a real insight into the world of the Facilities Manager.”