A catering team leader at Musgrove Park Hospital reached the final of this year’s Hospital Caterers’ Association awards.
While Amanda Vickery didn’t take home the top prize, she was among the top four in the country in the National Rising Star category.
Somerset NHS Foundation Trust’s (FT) community services-based facilities manager, Anna Warman, nominated Amanda for the way she has grown into her role at the trust, using the tips and knowledge from her membership of the Hospital Caterers’ Association to improve practice in Somerset.
Amanda has continued to develop her career and recently was successful in becoming the catering inpatient and retail manager at Musgrove.
And it doesn’t stop there. Since the turn of the year, Amanda has been working within Somerset FT’s community services to gain even more experience, something she’s doing alongside her role at Musgrove.
“We’re so proud of Amanda for both getting this national recognition and for her exciting new role at the trust,” said Anna.
“It’s also great that she’s been working with us out in the community, as this development opportunity would not have been possible if Amanda hadn’t shown such fantastic drive and passion to increase her knowledge of catering within the wider NHS trust.
“She has become a valued member of our community team, embracing new initiatives and ideas. Most recently, Amanda worked on our new milk and bread tender to ensure a smooth seamless transition for all our community and acute hospital sites.
“Amanda is also working alongside our facilities team’s sustainability group, to look at how we can reduce single use items and plastics to ensure environmentally friendly and cost-effective products are purchased in the future – a timely initiative given the huge focus our trust is placing on sustainability.
“Another key area that Amanda has brought to the trust from her involvement at the Hospital Caterers’ Association is around food waste, which has involved a trial on four of our inpatient wards – both within Musgrove and the community.
“As part of the NHS Food Review, food waste was reported as a staggering 39% of the total food budget across the country, costing of £230 million every year.
“In Somerset, we’ve embraced the challenge of reducing our food waste and as this trial was so successful, we are now extended it to all our inpatient sites – with Amanda very much leading the way.”
Amanda said she was thrilled to be recognised in this way, but that she couldn’t have achieved this on her own.
“I’ve learned so much and gained confidence by working with Anna Warman and Jane Wills (our deputy facilities manager) as they have such a wealth of knowledge,” she said.
“It’s all thanks to the support and guidance I’ve had from them, and the development opportunity from our head of facilities Brendan Woods, that I’ve been recognised in this way – I hope I can bring this learning back to my role at Musgrove.”
Amanda has also received a Hospital Caterers’ Association local branch award for the most attended meetings during 2022 from the branch chair, and the dedication and participation she has shown. And she has become the assistant treasurer for the branch for 2023, which is a huge honour.