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Training NHS chefs for the future

10 March 2021

The new NHS Supply Chain Chef’s Academy programme invites NHS hospital chefs to free training days with live demonstrations, hands-on cooking, guest speakers and the opportunity to network with peers.

The events are hosted by NHS Supply Chain: food team’s culinary specialists and are designed to inspire innovation and professional development amongst NHS chefs and catering staff.

Attendees will learn culinary skills as well as nutritious, tasty and cost-effective new recipe concepts, with the intention of providing greater choice of quality food in NHS hospitals.

Chef Nick Vadis in kitchen

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the Chef’s Academy programme was placed on hold, with only one event able to go ahead late last year. It was decided not to replace the sessions with virtual events as they are designed to involve interactive cooking demonstrations and food-tasting with culinary experts.

Following the recent Government roadmap announcement, new dates for March and April have now been confirmed, with limited spaces currently available. The full day events are held at catering colleges across the country, so current guidelines allow the Chef’s Academy training days to begin from 8 March, with social distancing in place.

Nick Vadis, Culinary Specialist at NHS Supply Chain who is leading on the Chef’s Academies said: “I’m so glad that we can once again offer our Chef’s Academy training events to NHS chefs across the country. They provide a platform for catering staff in NHS hospitals to upskill and share best practice by learning new recipes and techniques, something encouraged by the recommendations in the Independent Review of NHS Hospital Food 2020.

“We were always going to hold out for a time when we could host face to face events, and now with culinary colleges able to reopen we have the opportunity to do so.”

Spaces are available at the following four sessions and take place from 9am to 4pm:

West Herts College in Watford on 26 March

University of West London in Ealing, London on 30 March

University of West London in Ealing, London on 31 March

West Herts College in Watford on 8 April.

Other events that are now fully booked are being held at:

Food Sorcery Cookery School in Didsbury, Manchester on 22 March

Harborne Food School in Birmingham on 24 March.

Further events are due to take place in July.

All dates are subject to change should Government guidelines change. NHS chefs can register their interest for a spot at an upcoming event. See our Useful Links section for March, April or July dates.

A member of the NHS Supply Chain team will be in touch to discuss dates and locations.

Media Enquiries:

Jo Travis

Corporate Communications Manager

07598 546 070

About NHS Supply Chain’s role in the Covid-19 response

  • The Government has set up new PPE Dedicated Supply Channel which is a parallel supply chain to the normal NHS Supply Chain service. It has been set up by Government to meet the urgent volume requirements for core personal protective equipment (PPE) items, allowing NHS Supply Chain to focus on ensuring the supply of medical devices and clinical consumables to our NHS.
  • The Government has set up a dedicated unit to focus on securing supplies of PPE led by the government’s commercial function. This unit is identifying PPE suppliers from across the globe to meet the increasing demand for a growing list of PPE products.  NHS Supply Chain’s PPE buying teams have been seconded to the unit which is led by the government.
  • NHS Supply Chain has expanded its operations to support the stand up of seven NHS Nightingale Hospitals set up across the UK, including NHS Nightingale London, Birmingham, North West (Manchester), Yorkshire and the Humber (Harrogate), Bristol, North East (Washington) and Exeter. Equipment and consumables supplied include ventilators, patient monitors and CT scanners.

About NHS Supply Chain

NHS Supply Chain manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products, services and food for NHS trusts and healthcare organisations across England and Wales.

Managing more than 4.5 million orders per year, across 94,000 order points and 15,000 locations, NHS Supply Chain systems consolidate orders from over 800 suppliers, saving trusts time and money and removing duplication of overlapping contracts. 

Lord Carter’s report into efficiency and productivity in the NHS, published in 2015, identified unwarranted variation in procurement across the NHS, resulting in the need to improve operational efficiencies to transform a fragmented procurement landscape. To undertake this transformation the Department of Health and Social Care established the Procurement Transformation Programme (PTP) to deliver a new NHS Supply Chain.

The new NHS Supply Chain was designed to help the NHS deliver clinically assured, quality products at the best value, through a range of specialist buying functions. Its aim is to leverage the buying power of the NHS to negotiate the best deals from suppliers and deliver savings of £2.4 billion back into NHS frontline services by the end of the financial year 2022/23.

The new model consists of eleven specialist buying functions, known as Category Towers, delivering clinical consumables, capital medical equipment and non-medical products such as food and office solutions. Two enabling services for logistics and supporting technology and transactional services which underpin the model.

Key benefits the NHS Supply Chain will bring NHS trusts and suppliers include:

NHS trusts

  • Savings channelled back to frontline services
  • Releasing more time for core clinical activities
  • Greater NHS clinical involvement in purchasing decision
  • More effective introduction of new products.


  • Lowering sales and marketing costs
  • Single route into the national market
  • A joined-up approach across the NHS
  • Clear route for innovative products.

On 1 April 2018, a new commercially astute management function of the new NHS Supply Chain called Supply Chain Coordination Limited (SCCL) went ‘live’. The management function is responsible in driving strong commercial capability, providing a relentless approach to creating value, gain competitive advantage, become the strategic procurement partner of choice for the NHS, manage the delivery and performance of the Category Tower Service Providers and its enabling logistics and technology services whilst overseeing continuous improvement. SCCL is a limited company, wholly owned by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, SCCL is part of the NHS family. The management function is responsible for driving commercial objectives, managing the category towers and enabling services whilst overseeing continuous improvement.