HCA and BDA join forces with inaugural memorandum of understanding

HCA and BDA join forces with inaugural memorandum of understanding

02 September 2016

The Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) and British Dietetic Association (BDA) have launched a memorandum of understanding to foster closer working practises between the two organisations.

The memorandum, which can be found online, was signed by current HCA Chair Phil Shelley, and BDA Chief Executive Andy Burman, and sets out an agreed formal framework between the parties.

Within the structure it seeks to deliver a closer working partnership between the BDA and HCA and a more informed collaborative approach. This includes; developing the current working relationship between the two associations, enhancing cooperation, improving campaign outcomes and preventing duplicity of activity. 

The associations agree to work together to maintain and improve standards across hospital catering and services relating to patient nutrition and patient safety. Quarterly meetings have been scheduled between the organisations to help deliver these goals.   

The memorandums ultimate goal is to help both associations ensure that the ‘Patient is put first’ a theme which builds on the HCA’s ‘Power of 3’ campaign to secure better collaboration between Caterers, Nurses and Dietitians.

Andy Burman comments:

Collaboration with our partners is vital to the work of the BDA, and I am very pleased to have signed the memorandum. This agreement builds on the positive working relationship that already exists between the BDA and HCA and will ensure we can work together more closely to ensure that patients receive the best possible nutrition when in hospital.”

Phil Shelley adds:

“Inter agency, association and department collaboration has been at the heart of my chairmanship of the HCA. I am delighted to be part of formalising an agreement with our Dietitian colleagues to work towards a more inclusive, patient-centred and safe catering service throughout the NHS.

“Our Power of 3 campaign encourages caterers to become bigger than the sum of their parts by working closer in collaboration with other NHS professionals, in particular Nurses and Dietitians to create a truly holistic and 360 degree approach to nutrition and hydration. From caterer’s menus and ingredients, to Dietitians safe-guarding of nutritional content, to the final ward end delivery supported via the nursing teams, working together we can deliver excellence to each and every patient.”

Hospital Caterers Association (HCA)


With over 300 million meals served every year and around £500 million spent on food annually by around 300 NHS Trust across approximately 1200 hospitals, the NHS is the UK catering industry’s largest provider of meals.

The aims and objectives of the HCA are the promotion, development and improvement of the standards of catering in hospitals and healthcare establishments in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and elsewhere; the education and training of persons in health care catering services, and the provision and improvement of the professional interests and status of those engaged in health care catering services.

The HCA has 15 branches nationally and a membership of over 400 members


British Dietetic Association (BDA) 


The British Dietetic Association (BDA), founded in 1936, is the professional association and trade union for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 8,500 members.

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