Hospital Catering Staff

Hospital Catering Staff


Hospital catering staff jobs can include ward hosts/hostesses, chefs, and catering assistants. Chefs and cooks are responsible for cooking food in NHS hospitals and other services making sure our patients and staff have highly nutritious, high-quality food. Ward hosts and catering assistant help cook and serve food and drinks to patients and tidy up and cleaning after food service.


As a cook or chef, your duties include:

  • Planning meals and menus
  • Preparing food
  • Using kitchen equipment such as mixers
  • Storing food correctly
  • Making sure as little as possible is wasted
  • Supervising kitchen assistants

As an catering assistant or ward host you may:

  • Prepare food such as vegetables for the cook or chef
  • Wash up, by hand or using a dishwasher
  • Keep kitchen areas clean and tidy up after meal services
  • Clear tables
  • Load meals onto trolleys to go to wards and other parts of the hospital
  • Serve meals to staff in a canteen or restaurant or on wards
  • Operate a till and handle cash


Healthcare catering staff are employed by various organisations such NHS trusts, private hospitals and care homes.


Chefs, catering assistants and ward hosts work in a range of places including NHS hospitals, private hospitals, and residential homes. They mainly work in kitchens, catering outlets and wards.

Working Hours

The hours of work for a catering staff depend on where they work. Many of these role include working shifts that include early mornings, nights, evenings and weekends.


Starting salary is around £12,000.


To enter the NHS as a cook or chef, you need a catering qualification, usually at Level 2 or 3. However there are no set requirements for catering assistants and ward hosts.

If you have an EHCP you may be able to apply under the DfE exemption which allows the apprentice to use Entry Level 3 English and Maths qualifications. The apprentice would have to be competent enough to successfully achieve all other aspects of the apprenticeship requirements, become occupationally competent and achieve Entry Level 3 in English and Maths before the end of their apprenticeship.

College – you could start off on a Level 1 Certificate in Introduction to Culinary Skills.

Tagged as: [Health and Social Care]

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