A lot goes on behind the scenes at William Simpsons, and the magic which takes place within our on-site kitchen plays an important part in ensuring residents' health and wellbeing.

All of our meals are prepared from scratch, using fresh, delicious ingredients and with up to 71 residents and in excess of 80 staff to cater for, a whole lot of organisation goes into every serving! 

Chefs Lora and William spend considerable time researching the nutritional content and dietary value of each dish before determining whether it's right for inclusion in the residents' menu. With assistance and support from the invaluable Kitchen Porters, Sam and Robert, the team offers two menu options for each meal.

We all know that food affects not only our physical health but it also has an affect on our mood.  Think of the 'ahhh' feeling you get as you sit down to your favourite dish, or the anticipation that builds at the smell and sound of a sizzling steak! A good meal can set you up for the day but that's not just down to what's on the plate as the catering team explain. 

Firstly there's the empowerment factor of deciding for yourself. The menu choice sheets we use enable residents to select which of the two options they would like for each meal.  If they don't fancy either of the options on offer, there is room for staff to note down the resident's alternative request.  Meals are served from a hostess trolley by staff within the flats, so it is easy to accommodate residents' requests such as 'no peas', or 'extra tomato in the salad' and portion size can be adjusted as required.

The team agreed that we all taste our food first with our eyes and our sense of smell, so the look and aroma of every dish is important.  Consideration is given to every element of the meal, from the colour mix of ingredients right down to whether a carrot is sliced or diced! This is not mere restaurant vanity but it helps to ensure that each dish is appealing and tempting enough to encourage even those residents with small appetites to eat.

There are residents' dietary requirements to be considered as well.  The team provides soft diet options for residents who have difficulty swallowing, calorie rich or calorie restricted meals for residents with a weight imbalance and they can adapt meals to accommodate food related allergies and dislikes.  Residents and staff who follow vegetarian, vegan or faith based diets are also catered for. 

At the end of the day, it all comes back to customer satisfaction and residents can express their views in a number of ways.  Formal feedback can be provided via the meal review forms which are returned with the hostess trolleys after each meal, verbal feedback is encouraged as the team retrieve the trollies after each meal and the chefs visit each flat in person on a weekly basis to chat with residents and ascertain their views.  All feedback is logged and shared with the whole team and if any concerns have been expressed, the chef on duty will meet with residents individually to discuss their feedback and suggest amendments and steps which can be taken  within the kitchen to rectify the issue.

Catering within a care home is a complex and ever-changing process which demands an extensive understanding of nutrition, excellent organisation and catering skills from a flexible and adaptable team. Nutrition has such an impact on every aspect of residents' mental and physical health that at William Simpsons, catering is considered an essential element of our 360 degree resident focused care provision.

If you have any questions relating to your relative's diet, these are best raised with the care team first but you are welcome to stop by and say hello to Lora, William, Sam and Robert any time you're in.

Chef, Lora Sweeting

Chef, William Tait KP, Sam Cuthbertson KP, Robert Smith