Gathering service users’ thoughts and opinions provides quality and honest feedback about how to change or improve the food and services you deliver. At the CAP Awards we believe it’s essential to gather this data and it’s the only way to ensure you are meeting the needs and expectations of your pupils and residents.
Here are our top tips on how to generate simple but effective feedback for your catering teams:
1. Verbal feedback – nothing beats actually speaking with pupils or residents and finding out what their views are. Make sure their comments are recorded so that they are not lost and can actioned at an appropriate time.
2. Create a designated email address for feedback – not everyone wants to speak face to face, nor has the time, so a specific email for feedback is an easy way to communicate.
3. Survey your service users – surveys or questionnaires allow you to ask a specific question to gather the data that you need e.g. menu choice and/or views on the overall service. Have a both printed and electronic option for the survey.
This Friday is Care Home Open Day and care providers across the UK are inviting the general public into their homes to attend vintage tea parties, BBQs and summer fetes.
This national celebration is an excellent opportunity for communities to review their local home and to experience for themselves the true standard of care being provided.
For many it will be the first time they have stepped inside a care home so we’ve prepared a visitors’ guide with tips on what to look out for and how to get a real sense of what life is like in the home.
• Look for the CQC ratings – as part of new regulations these should be clearly displayed in the reception or foyer area.
• CAP Award plaques and notifications of other achievements by the home will also be displayed in the public areas. Investing resources in accreditations demonstrates that management takes the effective running of the home seriously and that they care about staff training and support.
• Speak with people, both staff and residents, to hear their views about the home and what it is like to live there.
• Taste the food – is it appetising? Is it nutritious? Do they use fresh produce? Is there a varied menu?
• What does the home smell like? Are rooms well ventilated and well lit? The living environment of a home is crucial to the well being of the residents.
• Are extra staff on hand to make sure cleaning levels are maintained throughout the day? This would give you a good indication of how well they plan their cleaning rotas, do spot checks and consider extra capacity usage or seasonal usage.
• Ask the staff to see the non-public areas in the home, the laundry room or the kitchen. Check for proper systems management and organisation. This is an open day and I’m sure the staff won’t have a problem with showing you around the working areas of the home.
Regulation 20 of the new Care Act, the Duty of Candour, requires all care homes to conspicuously display their most recent CQC (Care Quality Commission) rating on their premises.
This heralds in a new era of transparency, openness and visibility for the care sector and an upgrade to the traditional relationship between providers and customers.
Under the Duty of Candour residents and their families can now expect more open communications about all aspects of the care being delivered and how the home is being managed in general.
At the CAP Awards, we fully support this move towards transparency, and better communication, and it is something that we already encourage our housekeeping and catering award winners to participate in.
All our winners display their CAP Award plaques in their receptions and hallways and we encourage them to announce their awards in their newsletters, on their websites, through the local press and on social media – transparency should also be about celebration.
The Duty of Candour will give residents and their loved ones more confidence in the social care sector and drive up standards.
We are delighted that the CQC continues to recognise the merits of the CAP Awards and acknowledges that having an award reduces the risk of non-compliance.
As independent arbiters of quality our agenda is completely in tune with the Duty of Candour and we look forward to working with providers to help deliver ever greater excellence in housekeeping and catering.
Abbotsholme School has won a CAP Award for the fourth year running, in recognition of its exceptional standards.
Abbotsholme School scooped a Gold CAP Award for its catering service and the food on offer to pupils.
Headmaster Steve Fairclough, praised the catering team for their fourth consecutive win.
He said: “Winning a Gold CAP Award once is a great achievement but to do it four times is outstanding and proves that we are committed to a culture of continued excellence at Abbotsholme.
“Well done to all the catering staff. The work they do in day in day out is absolutely key to the success of the entire school.”
CAP Awards inspector Ian Jackson said the food on offer to pupils at the boarding school was of the very highest standard.
He said: “Abbotsholme are worthy winners of a Gold Cap Award.
“During the inspection we saw a superb range of food on the menu, including a very delicious cauliflower tart and blackcurrant cheesecake.
“Crucially there was also good boarder pupil feedback on the food so the catering staff could be confident they were creating what the school enjoyed.”
The school was also praised for continuing to invest in the catering facilities and for top ratings from the Environmental Health Officer, including positive feedback from the recent regulatory Boarding Inspection.
CATERING staff at Hollygirt School have been celebrating after winning a CAP Award.
Members of kitchen team at Hollygirt School were awarded a Silver CAP Award, two years in a row, for their cooking and catering skills.
Hollygirt Head Teacher Pam Hutley said she was immensely proud of the catering team’s recognition.
She said: “This award is a wonderful achievement and well deserved.
“Every day the catering team works tirelessly to ensure we all have delicious and nutritious food to eat and I have no doubt that this plays a key role in the success of the wider school, after all, you are what you eat!”
Ian Jackson, Chief Inspector for the CAP Awards, said the catering team had impressed him with its adaptability.
He said: “The school feeds a wide age range of pupils, from three to 16, both boys and girls, so to cater to all these tastes is no mean feat.
“The team has a very innovative approach, for instance they recently introduced a breakfast club and they are also fully up to speed on allergen awareness – a rapidly changing field.
“The feedback from pupils is very good and there are exciting plans in place for the progression of the service.”
During the inspection, the catering standards of the school were scored across all aspects of the service from due diligence to food storage and from staff training through to the actual pupil meal experience.