Catering manager to take on prestigious regional role

Solent catering manager Ronnie Parrett-Harris has been named as new regional chair of the influential Hospital Caterers’ Association.

Ronnie, based at St Mary’s Community Health Campus in Portsmouth, will take the helm of the HCA’s Wessex branch from this month.

The prestigious appointment comes as his boss, Iain Robertson, Catering Operations Manager for Solent NHS Trust, prepares to serve as the HCA’s national chair from April 2024.

Together, the pair will play key roles locally and nationally at the acclaimed organisation, which is the recognised “voice” of hospital catering and influences government policy on hospital food.

Ronnie joined Solent NHS Estates and Facilities in August 2021 from Portsmouth Naval Base, where he had worked as retail catering manager for six years.

After training to be a chef at South Downs College from 2005 to 2007, Ronnie worked in many sectors of the hospitality industry, including private healthcare, hotels, pubs, private functions, restaurants and coffee shops. His work took him to London and as far away as Australia.

But his current work within the challenges of NHS kitchens remains his real passion.

“I enjoy working for the NHS as I truly believe we can make a positive impact to patient recovery through nutrition and hydration,” said Ronnie, Assistant Catering Manager.

“I also would like to help change the perception of hospital food and show what can be achieved even within the parameters of strict NHS catering budgets.

“I love the team I work with and cannot stress enough what a great job they all do every day to help our patients. Solent has a real family feel to it and, although there are days where it is challenging, every day is pleasure to come to work and try and make a difference.”

Ronnie said his two years with Solent NHS Trust had provided him with excellent opportunities to further his knowledge within hospital catering, as well as the chance to meet some amazing people, including colleagues, patients and suppliers.

Mark Young, Deputy Director of Estates and Facilities, said: “Our catering team is outstanding and I feel extremely proud we will have two of its leaders in these high profile industry roles where they really can make a difference.

“Both Iain and Ronnie are superb ambassadors for Solent; they have a genuine passion for what they do and this shines through to our staff, patients and visitors.”


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