Hospital kitchens are getting ready for Christmas

Nobody wants to be in hospital at Christmas, but a small army of kitchen staff are working hard to make sure patients and colleagues get to enjoy a festive dinner with all of the trimmings.

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Many of us are still finalising what we will be serving our loved ones on Christmas day, but preparations have been underway in the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust kitchens for many weeks.

Team Leader David Nicholls from the kitchens at Grantham and District Hospital said: “Being in hospital at any time of the year can be hard, but especially at Christmas. We hope by putting in this extra effort over the festive period it lets our patients know that we want them to have as merry a Christmas as possible given the circumstances.”

On Christmas day the Trust will serve hundreds of patients and staff a roast turkey dinner with all of the trimmings.

Team Leader, John Chapman, from the catering department at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital said: “Our teams work extra hard over the festive period to give our patients the best Christmas we possibly can, sometimes it’s the little extras that make a big difference.”

Hundreds of turkey crowns have been ordered, along with thousands of sprouts, a mountain of baby carrots, half a ton of potatoes, hundreds of pigs in blankets, thousands of stuffing balls, a sea of gravy, hundreds of Christmas puddings and of course gallons of brandy sauce.

Some of the ingredients will also be used to serve staff and patients wanting a festive roast dinner in the hospitals’ restaurants in the days leading up to Christmas.

Team Leader Patricia Hopkins at Lincoln County Hospital kitchens said: “This time of year is really busy for us, but we really do love it. There is a lot of love, care and attention that goes into preparing all of the  food for patients and staff at Christmas.”

Dozens of giant Christmas cakes, enough to feed 1,650 people in total, have already been baked at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston and have been delivered to each hospital kitchen where they have been covered in marzipan and iced. The gigantic recipe contains 63kg of fruit, 30kg of marzipan and 20kg of icing sugar.

Kitchen team member, Sonia Chapman, at Pilgrim hospital  said: “Christmas is a special time of year and I love being able to make Christmas as magical as possible when patients are away from their loved ones.”

Hotel Services and Catering Manager, Wayne McIntosh, added: “Well done to our kitchen staff for all of the effort that has gone in so far, and especially on Christmas morning when they sacrifice spending time with their own family to make sure everyone in the hospital is able to have a Christmas dinner.”