Free breakfasts are on the menu for all staff at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital – as part of a new package of cost-of-living measures.

The Oswestry-based hospital is also serving up main meals at £2 – almost half the cost of the usual already-subsidised price for staff.

Both offers were launched on Monday 31 October, making it a not-so-scary start to Halloween for Team RJAH. It comes as the whole country has been hit by a perfect storm of raging inflation and spiralling interest rates that have hit the value of the pound in our pockets.

Stacey Keegan, Chief Executive of the specialist orthopaedic hospital, said: “The cost-of-living crisis is affecting all of us and we knew we wanted to see what we could do to support our staff at what is a difficult time.

“We put a working group together and carried out a staff survey to understand the challenges our people are facing. The cost of food was one of the strong themes that emerged, so it was an area where we were very keen to help.

“We have an incredible catering team, whose food was again rated No 1 in England across all hospitals earlier this year – for the 16th time in the last 17 years. It’s a team who are always up for a challenge and they have put this offer together.

“We’ve been delighted to see how well received it has been, and we are still looking at what other measures we can take to help our staff out. We are an organisation that really cares for our people, so this was something we felt we had to do.”

The breakfast offer allows staff to choose between a bowl of porridge or two slices of toast with butter. The main meals ‘winter warmer’ deal runs on a four-week rolling menu with two options each day – a meat dish or plant-based alternative.

Free tea and coffee have also been made available for all wards and departments, as well as squash for those who do not like hot drinks.

Olivia Evans, the Trust’s Improvement Lead and part of the cost of living working group, said: “It has been a real honour to work on this project and see what we can do to support our staff in these tough times.
“We asked staff how they were coping and there were some harrowing stories, so it is so good that we have been able to find a way to make a small difference. RJAH is a real family, and I think it’s important that you look after your own.

“It’s a big part of our culture that we put our people first, and I think most of us would say that- whether we’ve been here four decades or four weeks.

“We’re still working on other ideas and schemes to offer further support, which we look forward to sharing soon.”

Pictured: Alex Mendez, Catering Assistant; serving Olivia Evans, Improvement Lead; and Karl McGuire, Healthcare Assistant; free toast and porridge at breakfast.