As part of our celebration of International Women’s Day 2020, we asked women who worked across the Trust to share their stories.
Lorna Bowes, Head of Catering, Hospitality and Hotel Services
What is your job?
My job role is the best job in the hospital…ensuring the Trust’s patients’ nutritional and hydration needs are the very best they can be! Food and drink is a big contributing factor in aiding a speedy recovery of all patients. My role also involves looking after services to patient dining food and the service provided at ward level to support the clinical staff in patient safety and experience. Along with the dining room for visitors and staff.
How did you get to where you are today?
I have been in catering all my life starting as a chef in the hotel industry after completing my qualifications at college – (not saying what year hahaha) I had an opportunity to develop into management within industrial catering (mon – fri yey!) and progressed from unit manager to district supervisor. I then went back to university to gain my degree in teaching. On completion, I was given an opportunity within Sodexo to join the Learning and development team. During the next 7 years I had the privilege of being a part of some amazing events to support the onsite teams during some very high profile events… Royal Ascot week, London Olympics, Chelsea Flower show, National Bursars’ convention – to name but a few. I progressed back into an operational role where healthcare was an area of business I had done some work with implementing cleaning programmes and infection control tools to support the NHS. Having done a significant amount of work with Manchester Central Hospital with the onsite team I knew there was a place for me as I am passionate about making a difference…
What made you decide to do what you do?
Following on from my work at Manchester Central, an opportunity came along in April 2018 at Airedale I applied and was successful. I absolutely love the job! Every day is different and brings with it a new challenge. I know I can make a difference and have already started to implement and change the way in which we deliver the services to the patients. Enhancing the patient experience is at the heart of everything we do.
What do you enjoy about your job and about working at Airedale/in the NHS?
It’s very rewarding when you see all the food trollies leaving the main kitchen to deliver meals to patients. The activity within the busy kitchen environment, all the team working together to get service out to wards. Since I joined Airedale 2 years ago I have been welcomed into the trust by all staff and feel a valued member of the management team.
What else do you do outside of work? eg hobbies, caring responsibilities
I have a number of hobbies, mainly all outdoors: running, cycling and swimming. I am training for a half ironman in August in Austria. Food is obviously a big part of my training so eating is also one of my hobbies – usually scones on a café stop whilst cycling.
My caring responsibilities in the last 8 years before he sadly passed away was having my very lovely father in law come to live with us and a making such a difference to his last few years. Taking him overseas for the first time in his life at the age of 88. Applying for his first passport, taking him on his first ever flight, again making such a huge difference to his life was very rewarding to give a little back.
What is your message to women considering a career in the NHS?
If you are passionate about making a difference to people’s lives then the NHS is the place to be. You will touch people at many parts of their lives from birth to death, seeing them and helping them through their journey of life.