On 15th June, the inaugural National Healthcare Estates & Facilities Day was held. The Hospital Caterers Association (HCA), joined with HEFMA and several other leading associations representing the Estates and Facilities (E&F) workforce in UK healthcare to recognise and celebrate the critical work of all E&F staff and their role in the provision of healthcare services.
The association’s estimate that estates and facilities services make up around 8% of NHS staffing but are often overlooked and undervalued in their work environment.
Brian Robb, HCA National Chair commented. “This is an important new initiative which seeks to publicly acknowledge the exceptional commitment and outstanding contributions from everyone across the NHS Estates and Facilities workforce, from cleaners and porters to chefs and managers. It was an impressive first day, and I was excited to see how Trusts, members and colleagues were able to take part in some way.”
Prior to the event, Trusts could register to take part and download an event toolkit which included items such as a template letter to CEO’s and colleagues, posters and a team’s presentation.
Registrations received for the day achieved more than 500, with a whopping 538, and a reach of more than a quarter of a million staff. Activities included amplifying the valuable work of E&F teams, with many E&F staff receiving personal messages from their CEO or Trust Board members on the day.
At Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, they counted down to the day on social media, publishing a profile of a key member of the team or service in the 15 days leading up to the event. Senior E&F managers were on the ground on the day to distribute a letter of thanks, a new Team badge and a water bottle were given as a gift, and recorded messages of thanks were played from the CEO and members of the executive team.
Acklam Road Hospital, Middlesbrough recognised the work of their Estates and Facilities Management (EFM) team across all four of their sites, with exhibition stands, display boards, pull up banners, branded tablecloths, merchandise and lots of useful information regarding estates facilities management and what they do as a team.
Solent NHS Estates and Facilities launched its first staff awards, with one outstanding team member receiving a surprise accolade including a voucher, framed certificate and a unique gold version of a new Estates and Facilities badge.
Many other hospitals across the nation joined in with a range of tombola’s, cakes and stands in foyers to amplify the value of the Estates and Facilities teams.
The day was supported and promoted amongst other by the following Associations.
- Association for Healthcare Cleaning Professionals
- Health Estates and Facilities Management Association
- Hospital Caterers Association
- Institute of Decontamination Sciences
- Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management
- National Association of Healthcare Fire Officers
- Society of Hospital Linen Service and Laundry Managers
Next year’s National Healthcare Estates & Facilities Day will be held on Wednesday 21st June 2023.
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With more than 300 million meals served every year and around £500 million spent on food annually by around 300 NHS Trusts across approximately 1,200 hospitals, the NHS is the UK catering industry’s largest provider of meals.
The aims and objectives of the HCA are the promotion, development and improvement of the standards of catering in hospitals and healthcare establishments within the 4 nations of the United Kingdom and elsewhere; the education and training of persons in healthcare catering services, and the provision and improvement of the professional interests and status of those engaged in health care catering services.
The HCA has 15 branches nationally and a membership of more than 400 members.