18 March 2014

Gold award is a first for hospital food

Gold award is a first for hospital food

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) is the first NHS trust to achieve the Soil Association's Gold Food for Life Catering Mark for serving fresh, healthy meals - made with local, seasonal and organic ingredients. 

This is a fantastic achievement which will provide staff, patients and visitors at City Hospital and Queens Medical Centre with a guarantee that the food they are eating is prepared with fresh ingredients. 

The Food for Life Catering Mark recognises food providers who prepare meals which meet high standards of traceability, freshness and provenance. The Gold Catering Mark means that at least 15% of total ingredient spend is on organic ingredients, and that menus make use of ingredients produced locally and in the UK. 

77% of NUH's raw ingredient spend is now on local ingredients. Meat, fresh produce, bakery products and milk are all sourced locally, ensuring security for local suppliers and helping the local economy. Switching to local suppliers has been cost neutral and allowed the Trust to invest £2m per year in local sustainable businesses.

Sourcing organic and free range produce also provides environmental benefits and ensures the highest possible standards of animal welfare. 

Although there have been cost implications of these changes, the team have worked hard to mitigate these increases. For example; the cost increases of using organic milk have been offset by a new system to reduce food waste.  

This means that NUH is able to supply patients, staff and visitors with high quality meals at an ingredient cost price of £4.53 per patient per day - this includes breakfast, lunch, supper snacks and seven beverages each day. NUH operates below the national average for patient day costs. 

NUH Chief Executive Peter Homa said: "Becoming the first trust in the country to achieve this prestigious award is an outstanding achievement and testament to the hard work and commitment of our catering team. We are committed to sourcing ingredients locally to ensure we get value for money and the freshest seasonal produce for our patients, visitors and staff. Good nutrition and hydration is an important part of our patients' recovery and as such remains a priority for us at NUH."

Gold catering markOne relative emailed NUH to say: "Just thought I would share with you my father in law's comments about the food he had whilst an inpatient. He was very impressed with the food and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the leek soup. He thought your steak and kidney pie was very tasty. He likes good honest home cooked food so he was very impressed. Well done." 

Click here for more information about the Food for Life Catering Mark.


NHS Nottingham University Hospitals
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