Change of leadership for Hospital Caterers Association

Hospital Caterers association craig smith brian robb chair vice
New HCA chair Craig Smith, right, with vice chair Brian Robb
15/04/2019 - 10:37
The Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) has a new top team in place following the annual general meeting of members during the organisation’s recent training and development forum. Craig Smith is the new chair and Brian Robb has been named the new vice chair.

Stewart McKenzie has stepped down after two years in post as chair, during which time Smith was vice chair. Robb will now hold the post for two years, supporting the new chairman in his national duties, which include represent the HCA at public sector catering events, and promoting the HCA’s key platforms of patient centred catering.

Smith said: “I am delighted to be accompanied by Brian Robb as my honorary national vice chair. Brian and I have spent several years working together on council and the executive; it was he who encouraged me to take on the role of editor, which has eventually brought me to where I am today.

“Brian will bring a wealth of common sense and operational experience with him to the role and I know, from personal experience, that if he doesn’t think that a proposal is in the interests of the association, he will say so. We need people like this if we are to drive the association forward and meet our current strategic targets.”

Robb added: “It’s a great opportunity and honour to be appointed as the HCA’s new national vice chair. It’s a challenging time for hospital caterers and I’m looking forward to supporting Craig, and all the HCA members to embrace change, provide good governance, and increase standards.”

Robb joined the HCA in 1999 and has more than 40 years catering experience. Starting in the hospitality sector, he moved into the NHS in 1981, and continues there today as area manager of soft facilities services for East/Midlothian & Associated sites.

Under his direction, the catering teams at East Midlothian provide catering services for seven hospitals and approximately 500 patients, along with numerous visitors and staff.

The patient catering service is a traditional hotline bulk service and is based at their cooking production centre within Herdmanflat Hospital, where Robb is also headquartered. At the end of 2019 they will move to a new production centre at East Lothian Community Hospital.

He is also the catering lead for NHS Lothian, for which he is jointly responsible for reviewing standards and services on a broader level. Previously he was chair of the HCA East of Scotland branch, a post he held for five years before becoming its council representative, and has spent the last 12 years as a member of the association’s executive. 

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