2018 LEADERS IN CARE: INNOVATORS IN CARE: JON BICKNELL, FOOD AND SERVICES DIRECTOR, CARE UK

Since joining Care UK four years ago, Jon has revolutionised mealtimes in homes across the country, turning the concept of Dignity in Dining into a reality for all, whatever their support or nutritional needs.

He has overhauled recipes and food presentation, promoted more fresh produce and introduced new crockery and cutlery. Food guards are a thing of the past: now attractive deep, white crockery, with a striking decorative blue rim, enables residents with visual or physical impairments to gauge the edge of their crockery, not only making for an attractive table but also ensuring residents are treated with equal dignity.

Training innovations have been a priority: 500 team members have been trained this year, with support from dementia experts at the University of Worcester. All head chefs have been trained in modified diets. There has also been investment in training and equipment to improve dining for people living with dysphasia, enabling chefs to create meals that appear as similar to other diners’ meals as possible, encouraging parity as well as appetite.

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This support has seen a rise in the number and quality of applicants for chef positions, which benefits residents. A recent Outstanding CQC report highlighted the kitchen team and the care shown making mealtime experiences pleasurable for residents.

Keen to support those caring for loved ones in the community, Jon is leading on the creation of a website to be packed full of his team’s recipes, each one marked by diet and allergy suitability. Not only is this a remarkable resource for the homes, but it also helps those caring for a loved one to ensure they are eating safely and nutritiously – a true innovation in care support.

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