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Food for thought

Hospital food has featured heavily in the media at the beginning of this week.  Here at Liverpool Women's we are proud of the quality of the food that our patients receive.  About 5 years ago the feedback we received on hospital food from our patients was not great.  We worked with our Chefs, Dietitians, Nursing and Midwifery staff and patients to understand better what patients wanted.  We were fortunate that Celebrity Chef Simon Rimmer,  a local guy originally from the Wirral agreed to come and work with us to create appetising and well balanced meals.  He helped our staff to understand the importance of the presentation of the food.  You can view Simon at Liverpool Women’s on YouTube.

Our Chefs regularly visit the wards to take direct feedback from patients on the food served including, quantity, taste, choice and presentation.  All of our hot meals for patients are freshly served on the ward and not 'plated' in the kitchen.  Our food is also freshly prepared and not 'cook chill'.

Myself and Gail Naylor our Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Operations regularly visit wards at meal times to observe the quality of food and take feedback directly from patients.  We have also on occasions been known to put an apron and help with the serving of the food.  Anybody who has ever been in hospital understands the importance of meal times for patients.  Good quality food is a necessary ingredient in the healing process, particularly following surgery.   Mealtimes also help to break up the day in a hospital environment.  Our chefs, dieticians and ward hostesses do an amazing job to ensure that our patients receive good quality food here at Liverpool Women's.

Sky News reported on hospital food on Tuesday live from Liverpool Women's, thank you to all of our staff and patients who agreed to be filmed.

I had a fascinating afternoon on Tuesday.  I spent the afternoon in one of our Operating Theatres with Liz Adams, Consultant Urogynaecologist and our amazing theatre staff.  Good job I am not too squeamish!!!  It was also really interesting to talk to and observe the training of two of our junior doctors who were assisting in theatres.

Ken Morris our Chairman and I spent Wednesday in Birmingham talking to colleagues about our plans and priorities for highlighting at a national level Women's service in the United Kingdom.

Thursday was spent reviewing our financial plans for next year.  We have a huge challenge to identify £6 million of savings, cost improvement or income generation.  So far we have identified £1.3 million. This will need to be a big focus for our teams over the coming months.

I will be finishing the week on Friday in Manchester at the Board meeting of Health Education England North West.  We are responsible for ensuring that the NHS in the North West of England has the right training, education and numbers of staff across all sectors of healthcare.  No small task!!!

Our special guest for our 18 birthday party on Saturday 7 September has just been confirmed. Unfortunately I can't disclose who it is yet but I am excited!!!  Please do bring your children along to our celebrations, there will be lots for them to do and some tours behind the scenes.

Finally, we had some fantastic news earlier this week as our amazing Hewitt Fertility Centre has been shortlisted for a prestigious award. The centre has been shortlisted in the category for service innovation at the 2013 Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards, because of the outstanding improvements to pregnancy success rates it has achieved during the past 12 months. Congratulations to all involved and good luck!

Have a good weekend!

by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive

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