Newcastle Hospitals have provided patient-centred healthcare to communities in the North East of England and beyond for over 250 years.
They have 1.96 million patient contacts per year and serve a population of over 3 million. Freeman Catering is an in-house catering service covering the Freeman Hospital and Regent Point. They achieved the Green Kitchen Standard in early 2017.
There are 2 sites, 105 members of catering staff which serve approximately 93,450 patient meals per week, 4,450 meals 3 times per day and 11,000 staff/restaurant visitors per week.
Why We Opted for the Green Kitchen Standard
Freeman Hospital wanted to build on their success in achieving the Soil Association Food for Life Served Here Award and to gain accreditation for their hard work in improving the sustainability of energy, water and waste in their kitchen. The Green Kitchen Standard gave them the opportunity for closer links between catering and sustainability teams to create a fully rounded approach to sustainable catering.
Freeman Hospital aim to reduce waste, energy and water consumption by 28% by 2020 (from a 2013 baseline).
A hidden benefit of The Green Kitchen Standard for Freeman Hospital was that it supported joined up working within the hospital. For World Meat Free Day, the Catering Manager created joint communications from the catering and the sustainability team. During the event, the sustainability team had a stall in the Freeman Restaurant to promote the benefits of a meat free diet, share information, and set staff a challenge.
Now, the catering and sustainability teams regularly touch base. This has allowed for better sharing of information and for us to celebrate the successes of the catering department.
The Changes That Have Been Made
Job specific sustainability information is included in the induction pack for new starters and the catering team receives regular sustainability training and updates.
An engagement plan for 2017 was developed to improve communications with both staff and visitors.
Freeman Catering are also looking at ways to better monitor food waste; including analysing the untouched patient food data to identify trends.
Freeman Hospital used their Green Kitchen Standard work on their energy, water and waste efficiencies to apply for a number of sustainable food and catering awards with great success. Freeman Catering has won a NHS Sustainability Award (2017) and a Green Apple Award (2017) with great feedback from judges.