Strathcarron Hospice’s ‘fantastic’ new kitchen is a gift out of the blue

Bonnybridge manufacturer, E&R Moffat, wins contract then decides to give kitchen and installation for free!

Janet Johnston, Isobel Harvey and Liz McGuire of Strathcarron Hospice with John Wannan, left, and David McPherson of MoffatStrathcarron is a hospice covering Central Scotland – a huge area with a population of around 400,000. It provides specialist palliative care for 1,200 terminally ill patients, most of whom stay in their own homes, with about 400 coming into the hospice ward each year and 100 people a week coming in for day care. The main kitchen does all the cooking for the ward, day patients, staff, visitors and the hospice’s many volunteers. There is also a kitchen on the ward,from which the ward meals are served and which is also use to provide meals, drinks and snacks for the 24 in-house patients, ward staff and visitors.

Recently Strathcarron Hospice had to upgrade the ward-level kitchen. “It was old but, more importantly, it didn’t meet new environmental health standards,” explains Irene McKie, the Hospice’s Chief Exec. “We needed to replace all the old fittings with stainless steel, ensuring there were no joints or dirt traps.

“Moffat has provided help in the past,” she says, “in the form of at-cost or even below-cost equipment for the main kitchen, and we asked them to tender for the new kitchen.” Moffat, based in Bonnybridge, is one of the UK’s leading catering equipment manufacturers.

Irene says: “After the tendering process we selected Moffat for the contract. Then, out of the blue, the company announced they had decided to manufacture, supply and install the kitchen for free! It was just brilliant.”

Hospices offer personalised care, with higher staffing levels than the NHS, “We are all about helping people make the most of their time, helping them have the best quality of life.” However, while Strathcarron gets some funding from the NHS, it is an independent charity. “In order to survive we have to raise £10,000 a day – it’s a real struggle, even more so as we a try to expand our services to meet growing demand. As well as providing for our patients we are looking after carers and those suffering bereavement.

“So a gift like Moffat’s is a huge bonus – it means the money we would have had to spend on the kitchen can go towards the vital services we supply.”

An efficient kitchen is essential because food is such an important part of life at Strathcarron. “We actually cook to order – staff will take the menu to patients, but if they don’t fancy what’s on offer, we will try to cook something they want,” says Irene. “Once a patient asked for semolina, but the staff on duty had never cooked it and we didn’t have any. So they went to the shop, bought some and made it. By the end of that week, we had 14 patients eating semolina – they were divided into two factions, those who liked fruit with it, and those who preferred jam!”

Visitors staying over to be with in-patients also use the kitchen. “It gives them the freedom to make drinks and snacks, even meals, whenever they want to.”

Moffat fabricated stainless steel floor cupboards, wall cupboards, sinks and splashbacks for the kitchen. The total install was worth well in excess of £10,000. “Strathcarron Hospice is a local charity that does truly wonderful work,” says Gordon McIntosh, Moffat’s commercial director. “We are delighted to continue our support for them and the services they provide.”

“The new kitchen looks lovely,” says Irene. “It’s terrific and has made a huge difference. Staff love it, it’s really easy to clean and it’s shiny and sparkling!

“It’s wonderful that a local company is supporting us in this way. We didn’t quite break even last year, so everything helps. The guys at Moffat have been so generous – we knew they’d give us a good price, but we were absolutely astounded when they said they wouldn’t be charging us at all. It’s fantastic.”

For more information on Strathcarron Hospice visit strathcarronhospice.net

E & R Moffat is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of quality foodservice equipment, designing and manufacturing in-house. Based in Bonnybridge, Scotland, the company manufactures standard and bespoke servery, regeneration and storage equipment and runs a full nationwide after-sales engineering team. E & R Moffat is accredited to ISO 9001:2008. For more information on E & R Moffat visit the website on www.ermoffat.co.uk

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