Care UK catering expert lifts national trophy | Care UK

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Care UK catering expert lifts national trophy

November 9th 2020

Care UK’s James Clear has received one of the highest accolades in care catering – the National Association of Care Caters’ special achievement award.

This year’s Pam Rhodes Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to the Care UK hotel services manager after judges were impressed with his commitment to ensuring every resident has not just tempting and nutritious food but also a dignified dining experience.

James Clear, Care UKCare UK was the first provider to fully adopt the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) descriptors: these ensure a consistent approach across the care sector to producing texture-modified foods for people living with dysphagia, which causes problems with swallowing and can lead to the potential to choke when eating or drinking.

James organised face-to-face practical training for more than 120 chefs, five months ahead of the national roll out of the IDDSI descriptors. To reinforce and spread the learning he also worked with the Care UK training team to create bespoke e-learning modules on the topic for all home colleagues.

James works closely with colleagues across Care UK to ensure every opportunity to learn and improve is taken. Care UK has an unprecedented campaign of new home openings and James supports the new-build team by training new catering recruits over two days, ensuring that all chefs understand the Care UK ethos – the ‘whole home approach’ and emphasis on excellent care as well as the requirements of residents on modified or restricted diets.

He has also played a part further developing the dining with dignity approach created by Care UK’s Director of Hotel and Catering Jon Bicknell. This year the mealtime experiences for residents have been enhanced by the creation of a dining room owner role. This sees a dedicated person, who is passionate about delivering a positive, experience leading the mealtime experience, ensuring a consistent high-quality dining experience. This is one of the many initiatives that have seen Care UK’s food and hygiene customer satisfaction scores exceeded year on year.

James ClearJames’ success did not stop with his own award, as one of his homes in the south, Pear Tree Court, was named as Care Establishment of the Year. Head Chef at Pear Tree Court Stuart Passey and his team were praised by the judges for being passionate about using the best-quality ingredients, and tailoring menus and mealtimes to residents’ tastes and needs – this was reflected in a 98 percent resident satisfaction rating in a recent survey of the home. The judges commented: “Quality and personalisation are central to every aspect of care at Pear Tree Court”.

Stuart Passey, Head Chef at Pear Tree Court, said: “The team and I are incredibly proud to have taken a top spot at the NACC awards, we’re thrilled that our efforts have been recognised at a national level. Our whole team is very passionate about providing the very best dining experience for residents, from using high-quality ingredients to creating menus that are inventive and tasty.”

Chris Hopkinson, Operations Director with Care UK said: “Going the extra mile is a term that is often applied when people are just doing their job, but in James’s case it applies in the true sense of the term. Throughout the pandemic, he has continued to guide his team and support our homes around hospitality. He has been instrumental in ensuring homes have sufficient PPE, monitoring stock levels and coordinating their movement to homes – in many cases delivering the stock himself. Along the way, he has continued to build effective relationships with the senior team and home teams.

“He is a truly talented and committed catering professional. His passionate approach and creative vigour are second to none. He puts residents at the heart of everything he does and leads and supports his teams with a genuine person-centred approach.”

James has also  developed a wealth of nutritionally balanced meals in three recipe books, available online for residents, relatives and people caring for loved ones in the community to enjoy, guaranteeing that the widest possible number of people gain from his experience.

James said: “I was delighted when I heard the news and I think my success is a tribute to all our 283 chefs and to Care UK, which gives chefs impressive autonomy, training and budgets, so they can provide a person-centred food service to residents.”

James’ success did not stop with his own award, as one of his homes in the south, Pear Tree Court, was named as Care Establishment of the Year. Head Chef at Pear Tree Court Stuart Passey and his team were praised by the judges for being passionate about using the best-quality ingredients, and tailoring menus and mealtimes to residents’ tastes and needs – this was reflected in a 98 percent resident satisfaction rating in a recent survey of the home. The judges commented: “Quality and personalisation are central to every aspect of care at Pear Tree Court”.

Stuart Passey, Head Chef at Pear Tree Court, said: “The team and I are incredibly proud to have taken a top spot at the NACC awards, we’re thrilled that our efforts have been recognised at a national level. Our whole team is very passionate about providing the very best dining experience for residents, from using high-quality ingredients to creating menus that are inventive and tasty.”

Iain Young, Head Chef at Care UK’s Murrayside care home in Edinburgh was a finalist in the same category that Stuart won.