This week our client Hobart – the UK’s leading catering equipment manufacturer and service provider – announced that it is to make the healthcare sector its “absolute number one priority” helping keep public sector kitchens operational in the face of overwhelming demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Peterborough manufacturer has not only increased holding of spares to an unprecedented £6m, it has also created a UK-wide engineer taskforce of service professionals who have volunteered to remain operational, ensuring a priority service to key worker sites. Many of these engineers are working overtime and on days off to ensure demand is met, wilfully entering healthcare ‘red zones’ to keep machines on line.

It goes without saying that if the healthcare kitchen goes down, the entire operation is profoundly affected for as long as it takes to fix. With this in mind, significant and timely successes so far include:

  • Attendance within an hour to a Scottish hospital trust, and a first-time fix after a catering unit had completely gone down.
  • A call logged at Glasgow’s Gartnavel Hospital at 13:12pm after a flight type dishwasher, critical to the catering operation, went down. The engineer arrived at 14.12 to get it back up and running.
  • Engineers on site at a specialist a COVID-19 ward at Chorley and Ribble hospital to repair a dishwasher that ensured patients had properly sanitised crockery.
  • An urgent call from a care home on a Sunday to attend and fix a machine that had gone down. An engineer attended the same day, ordered the parts required and returned on the Tuesday to get the machine operational.
  • A 10-hour response and first-time fix at St Thomas’ Hospital.

These types of stories are being written as you read, and will continue to be written until this crisis yields. To those helping keep healthcare kitchens operational, we want to say a big thank you. We’ll be supporting you every step of the way and helping get more of these stories into the public domain.