Message from Catherine Johnstone CEO: BBC Watchdog, 1 May 2019

Wednesday, 01 May 2019
Catherine Johnstone CBE, CEO Royal Voluntary ServiceThe BBC’s Watchdog programme has been testing the hygiene of hospital cafés – and included Royal Voluntary Service alongside commercial high street café chains. While other organisations were criticised for their cleaning standards, Royal Voluntary Service’s results were reassuringly positive. Across ten sites, just one table had potentially not been cleaned to standard and no dangerous bacteria were found.

"We are reassured by the results of this test which show our dedicated volunteers and staff succeeding in doing their utmost to keep our cafés clean, while offering the special care and support to patients and hospital staff that Royal Voluntary Service is known for. Overall, we have 6,000 volunteers working in the NHS supported by our staff team, many of whom work in our cafés and shops. Our hospital café model, operated in over 200 sites, is very different to others as in addition to serving refreshments and manning the tills, trained volunteers are often among our customers, offering a supportive word or a listening ear. Any money we make either goes back into the NHS or funds the charity’s work.

"We have robust policies in place to ensure hygiene and cleanliness at all of our sites and would like to thank our volunteers and staff for their hard work and efforts in maintaining these high standards and for ensuring that those who use our Retail services continue to receive an exceptional service."

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service

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