In-flight food touches down at Blacktown Hospital

Blacktown Hospital food services assistant Gale Reed delivers the trial meals to patients.

Most planes are grounded but Blacktown Hospital patients were flying high with delicious in-flight meal last week.

Hospital food provider HealthShare NSW has refined its ‘Plan B’ COVID-19 strategy and engaged with one of the world’s largest airline caterers, Gate Gourmet, to provide a secondary supply chain for the delivery of food services to our patients.

This COVID-19 contingency plan will ensure people continue to receive meals in the event of issues such as HealthShare staff being unavailable or a large surge in patient numbers.

Blacktown Hospital participated in a trial of the contingency plan, with 70 patients offered a choice of airline meals including chicken, beef and vegetarian dishes, as well as a bread and spread, juice and dessert.

HealthShare NSW Supply Chain associate director Zdenka Fuller said the Blacktown had the perfect layout to test the workflow.

“Everything went according to plan, and it was great to see how this plan B would work and how we would implement this food delivery at other hospitals,” Zdenka said.

“The COVID situation is unchartered territory for us and has forced us to think about different ways of working.

“By engaging with Gate Gourmet in this partnership we can help to keep people in the aviation industry in jobs that have been otherwise lost due to the downturn in domestic and overseas travel.

“We are prepared for whatever comes our way, and it’s reassuring that we have an innovative solution ready to go.”