The team responsible for Care UK’s food and dining service won a top trophy in the inaugural awards celebrating national excellence in care home catering.
Care UK were announced as winners of the Group Care Home Caterer of the Year category in the prestigious awards which are run by Care Home Catering magazine.
Since joining Care UK four years ago, Jon Bicknell has led a team that has revolutionised mealtimes across the country, turning the concept of dining with dignity into a reality in the group’s 119 homes.
Andrew Knight said: “Jon and his team have made a step change to our resident food and hospitality offer overhauling the choice of food we prepare freshly at each home, improving the food presentation, promoting fresh produce and the introduction of new crockery and cutlery to enable all residents to dine with dignity.
Plastic plate guards are a thing of the past as attractive, deep crockery, with a striking decorative blue glaze, enables residents with visual or physical impairments to gauge the edge of their crockery and this, in addition to our range of glassware and cutlery, ensures that all residents are able to enjoy our hospitality with even greater dignity.”
Under Jon’s guidance Care UK has also invested in training and equipment to improve dining for people living with dysphagia – difficulty swallowing brought about by conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia - enabling chefs to create meals that appear almost identical to other diners’ meals.
Training innovations have been a priority for the catering and hospitality team. In 12 months, 500 Care UK colleagues have received additional training, with support from dementia experts at the University of Worcester. Jon’s team has also devised and delivered skill-based courses on baking, working with chocolate, meat and seafood and courses to help chefs support residents with allergies to ensure residents enjoy the very best of food daily.
Jon said: “It is an honour to win Care Home Catering’s first awards, especially in the Group Care Home Caterer of the Year category. This is a tribute to all the kitchen teams in our homes across the country, as well as to Care UK’s passionate commitment to delivering delicious and nutritious food to all of our residents, whatever their dietary needs.”
The winners of the Care Home Catering Awards were announced at the Care Home and Hospital Catering Forum on 29th November 2018 at the Haberdashers’ Hall, London.