Northern Ireland care home praised by minister for nutritional excellence

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Left to right: Darren Martin, Head Chef, Edwin Poots, Minister of Health, Northern Ireland, and John Rafferty, Home Manager
Left to right: Darren Martin, Head Chef, Edwin Poots, Minister of Health, Northern Ireland, and John Rafferty, Home Manager

Northern Ireland’s Minister for Health , Social Services and Public Safety Edwin Poots has commended the catering and nutrition offered to residents at Amore Care’s Bannview House in Banbridge.

Bannview House, part of the Priory Group, welcomed Mr Poots to the home where he chatted with residents, met the staff and reviewed the home’s catering processes and menus.

Nutrition is one of the key standards the Department of Health in Northern Ireland is focussing on.   Mr Poots toured the kitchen, which has a five star food hygiene rating, and was interested in how the food was sourced and prepared and commended the home on providing a choice of meals that is both tasty and nutritional.

Chef Darren Martin learned his trade in the Royal Navy, training in Aldershot and working for a number of years as chef in a submarine.   He prides himself on offering a variety of home-made meals, with all ingredients sourced locally.  In addition the residents enjoy home-made bread, cakes, scones and delicious desserts.

The Minister sampled a slice of home-made Banana Cake and commented:  “I am really impressed with the standard of catering that exists within Bannview House.”

Darren Martin said:  “The catering at Bannview is led by the residents’ needs and flexibility is the key.  There’s always a wide choice of alternatives we can prepare if an individual wants a lighter option or doesn’t like the dishes on the daily menu.

“Food was always a major factor in keeping morale high on the submarine and it is no different in a care home, good nutrition is a key aspect of good care.    We understand the importance of providing nutritionally balanced, tasty and well-presented dishes and are very proud to receive such praise from the Minister.”

Speaking to an audience of more than 230 nurses at the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Annual Conference in Belfast in November 2013, Mr Poots said: “Good nutritional care is about identifying those people in our care, who because of illness, disability or frailty, need support with eating and drinking to maintain their energy levels so they can get better and live well.”

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