Hospital caterers ditching in-house kitchens for CPUs

Andy Jones, managing director

In-house caterers working for NHS hospital trusts are displaying a growing appetite for large-scale CPU kitchens that provide patient meals across multiple sites, a leading expert in the healthcare foodservice field has claimed.

Andy Jones, managing director of AJ Associates and a former chair of the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA), said there was a clear trend away from individual in-house kitchens towards central production units built to provide meals across numerous trust sites.

Mr Jones, who advises numerous hospital trusts on kitchen projects, explained: “The current trend is hospital trusts that are looking to build CPUs again. But CPUs serving not just their trusts but other trusts too.

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“And that’s something that’s really gathering momentum. I can’t name them but certainly two projects I’m working on in the UK at the moment where they’re actually looking at building a CPU that will serve around 19,000 patient meals a week initially.”

Speaking at Commercial Kitchen, Mr Jones also outlined how the equipment requirements of hospital caterers are changing because of high staff turnover.

He said: “The turnover in the catering industry is a staggering 57%. We need equipment that is easy to use, easy to train, meets the needs but also allows the flare of the chefs to still come through.”

Tags : Andy Jonescatering equipmentCPUshospitalskitchensNHS
Joe Peskett

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