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Portlaoise Hospital named national winner for Hygiene and Food Safety

Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise scoop two awards and named national winner for Hygiene and Food Safety at National Q Mark Awards

HSE-18-980 -  catering

On Friday, September 28th at the Clayton Hotel in Dublin 4, the Catering Department of the Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise won 2 awards at the National Q Mark Awards and were named overall national winner for Hygiene and Food Safety, presented by Excellence Ireland Quality Association (EIQA) and officiated by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD. Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise is the only hospital in the last 10 years to win this award.

Known as The Oscars of Business Excellence, The Q Mark Award is the highest accolade an Irish business can achieve, given both the intense competition and the exacting standards required.  Almost 600 people representing 140 companies attended a formal black-tie ceremony in competition for one of only 27 awards presented.

Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise Catering Department provide their service to patients and staff of the Acute hospital, Mental Health facilities and community. The department plan, prepare and serve fresh meals daily and continue to achieve best practice in operation by adhering to the highest standards by sourcing and providing safe and healthy food. The full meal service is processed using the cook–fresh system through to service, which is validated by the H.A.C.C.P. Management system. Due to the hospitals diverse client base, the Catering Department have implemented a “Multilingual Pictorial Menu” which also allows patients with limited communications to choose their daily food requirements. 

Commenting on the achievement, Trevor O’Callaghan, Chief Executive Officer of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group said: “To win one of the 27 coveted awards means that the Catering Department of Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise are meeting the highest standards of Quality and Excellence in Ireland. On behalf of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, we would like to congratulate all the catering team on their excellent achievement, which demonstrates the hospital’s commitment to its patients and staff and it is to be commended.”

Michael Knowles, Hospital Manager for Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise stated: “This is a very significant and prestigious award for the department and the hospital as a whole. There were in excess of 140 companies competing for this award from both the Private and Public sector. The staff in the Catering Department have worked tirelessly over the past number of years to achieve this excellence award. It is testament to the efforts of all staff in the department and the wider hospital. I would like to extend warm congratulations to each member of the team on this huge achievement.”

Mary-Ann Coyne, A/Chef for Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise commented on receiving the awards: “Winning the Q Mark Award shows us all that we are doing something right, we are all very committed to working as part of a team and helping each other to do the best job we can. Not only do we view the audit as a tool for learning and compliance but we really appreciate and implement the information that the auditors pass onto us at the end of the process. It informs us about industry changes and standards, as processes continue to change and improve within food safety.”

Ellen Egan, Chef for Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise commented: “After being nominated for the past six years we are all delighted to finally bring not one but two awards back to Portlaoise”

EIQA (Excellence Ireland Quality Association) has been the Irish National Quality Association since 1968. They currently audit the standards of thousands of organisations and businesses both in Ireland and Internationally. Only businesses that achieve the highest scores at audit are shortlisted in their relevant category.  Once shortlisted, all companies must complete a very detailed submission document. This submission document is then presented to an expert panel of independent judges from the areas of Food Safety, Employment Law, Academia, Business & Quality to name but a few. See www.eiqa.ie for details.