Great Oaks in Bournemouth has appointed a soft food diet specialist to the position of Head Chef, to allow for a wide range of dietary requirements to be catered for at the care home.
Patrick Fensterseifer specialises in the production of dysphagia meals; he is passionate about preparing meals that are flavoursome, nutritious, well-presented and meet the specific dietary requirements of every resident.
As a Dorset Healthcare NHS dysphagia practitioner, Patrick has a wealth of knowledge which has enabled him to lead the rest of the catering team confidently, and help expand their skills and understanding of the swallowing disorder. Patrick has more than 18 years’ experience as a head chef and has demonstrated to the rest of the team that it is still possible to be creative when catering for a resident who requires a soft food diet.
Great Oaks – part of Encore Care Homes – also works closely with Dining with Dignity, a specialist training provider, to help meet the nutritional needs of residents who have dysphagia. The catering team receives training from a specialist Dining with Dignity chef, who also provides a bespoke workshop plan, which includes demonstrations on how to prepare purée meals.
Said Patrick: “At our home, we are so passionate about going the extra mile to put a smile on our residents’ faces. Meal times are treated with great importance; everyone has individual needs and we take the time to get to know what each resident likes and doesn’t like to eat.
“Every meal is prepared using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients to ensure our dishes are as nutrition-rich as possible. When we create meals for our residents with dysphagia, we like to challenge ourselves to serve soft diet food which still looks like their solid counterparts. We use a range of mould and piping techniques that allow us to create a variety of appetising courses which contain the vital ingredients that boost our residents’ health.
“I am a member of the National Association of Care Catering which ensures the team are continually learning, creating new recipes and evolving the catering offering at Great Oaks.”