‘I enjoy getting to know the patients’

Brian Kenny has been our Head Chef at Galway Hospice for almost three years.

Brian heads up a team of five staff in the kitchen and together they cater for patients, visitors, volunteers and staff in the hospice.

The kitchen is staffed and open from 7:30am to 6pm every day providing breakfast, lunch and evening tea. Outside of those hours, light food and snacks are available to patients. Supplies are sourced for the kitchen from
local suppliers and all ingredients are fresh.

Covid-19 has impacted us in the kitchen in so far as we have seen less footfall in the dining room because some staff are working from home and we have had reduced numbers of volunteers and visitors in the hospice. In
the kitchen, we have always maintained high hygiene standards and that ensures that the meals we produce are safe. Since Covid, I have proactively reduced the numbers coming into the kitchen at any time to safeguard my
staff and those we cook for from the risk of Covid transmission.

When Daycare Services are running at the hospice, I enjoy getting to know the patients and having a chat with them on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I’ve built up some good relationships with them and I look forward to having
those patients back in the dining room when it’s safe for them.

Similarly, when patients from the unit come to the dining room, I make a point of going over to talk to them. It’s important to make them feel as welcome and comfortable here as they can be.

Sometimes I receive a request for something that we don’t have in stock. One such incident that stands out to me is a lady who requested grilled lamb cutlets for her mother who was an in-patient at the time. I got them from a local butcher and made a tasty meal with gravy and roast potatoes. The daughter was really grateful for the extra effort and I suppose that’s the most satisfying thing about my role at the hospice. While our medical team do fantastic work, we do our bit here in the kitchen too.

In my time here, I’ve catered for a few special events like christenings that have been held at the hospice. Also, if we’re aware that it’s a patient’s birthday, a cake will be arranged and we’ll be sure to mark the occasion. From time to time, individuals and families will come in visibly upset and sit in the dining room. While I can’t change the situation they find themselves in, I can set a pot of tea and a plate of scones down on the table in front of them and I hope that helps in some small way.

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