In the latest blog for our ‘A day in the life of’ series, we’re joined by Lili Paiu, Food and Beverage Manager at Parkside. We learn about Lili’s role, hear about her favourite bits of the job and learn about the attributes needed to succeed in the position. Continue reading to find out more…
Hi Lili, great to have you join us for this blog – thank you! Can you tell us a bit about your work?
“Thanks, I’m so happy to participate, especially this week which is national nutrition and hydration awareness week!
So I started working at Parkside and Cancer Centre London (CCL) in December 2015 – my daughter was only a year old at the time so this really feels like a long time ago! I try to spend as much of my free time as I can with my daughter, playing games, reading books and exploring new places in London.”
What does a typical day look like for you?
“There’s very rarely a ‘typical day’ as the role is so fun and varied, but I begin each day at Parkside at 7am checking the patient admissions list, making sure staff are allocated to each floor, that chefs and kitchen porters are on duty and by identifying any equipment that might need maintenance.
We also do various checks and cleaning protocols in the kitchen areas and then I take part in the Hospital morning huddle, which is like a team meeting ahead of the day, and I share relevant updates with the multidisciplinary team. I also complete schedules on EZLM, our internal portal. Most importantly however, I spend a great deal of time seeing and speaking to patients, making sure we meet any special or dietary requirements, and letting them know that our team will go above and beyond to provide an exceptional service.”
And what would you say is your favourite part of the job?
“Without doubt, it’s the interaction with patients. I love my job and get to see and speak to so many people but my favourite bit is when I can speak to a patient and reassure them that they have nothing to worry about when it comes to their meals. Patients already have a lot on their minds so the least I can do is reassure them that they will be looked after, their requirements will be met, and that we will exceed any expectations they have. This is all part of the ‘exceptional healthcare’ we provide at Parkside.
I also enjoy and thrive on providing quality meals for our patients, which is important for many reasons. Many studies have also shown how important good quality meals are for patients in hospital. We know that good nutrition is important in the prevention of malnutrition, degenerative diseases and overall well-being of patients, and can help to reduce hospital stay too.
I also need to give a special mention to the staff at Parkside. Everyone is so lovely here. Parkside is like my second home and my colleagues are my second family so I love every second that I’m here. I know not everyone in the country is so lucky to have such a good employer and work with a great team so I’m very grateful!”
What’s your biggest achievement so far?
“One of my biggest achievements was when we redesigned the restaurant area at Parkside into a more comfortable place that staff, patients and visitors can enjoy. I’ve also been given a few more responsibilities in recent years which I really enjoy, such as overseeing the main kitchen, housekeeping and health and safety. We have great teams across Parkside so it’s lovely to be involved and make more of a difference.”
Tell us about any patient feedback that is particularly memorable?
We keep all the cards and notes that patients send us with their lovely feedback. Here’s a selection:
- “Dear catering team, thank you for feeding my daughter and me so beautifully earlier this year. The food at every meal was five-star quality, the smells were delicious, the menu rich and healthy, and I am sure it helped the patient to recover. I really appreciate you feeding me, too, and for being so kind and helpful”
- “Chef, thank you so much for the delicious dinner, the Thai chicken curry was very tasty and the sticky toffee pudding with custard was amazing!”
Has anything surprised you about the work you do?
“Every day presents different tasks and sometimes challenges and that’s been quite surprising, but it’s all part of the job and with our great team we can overcome anything. It’s also a fun challenge to be responsible for catering in Parkside as well as sister hospital CCL, which is located down the road.”
Finally, what are the most important attributes of the job?
“Simple: don’t take shortcuts and do things properly, as they should be done! With that mindset and attitude, you will provide excellent meals and customer service to all patients.”