http://www.soilassociation.org/news/newsstory/articleid/3024/royal-recognition-for-excellence-in-hospital-food
Royal recognition for excellence in hospital food

Royal recognition for excellence in hospital food

24 January 2012

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales hosted a reception at Clarence House on Thursday 15 December to congratulate 14 hospitals from around the country on the excellent work they have done to improve their food, as identified by the Soil Association.

His Royal Highness also wrote an article setting out the multiple benefits of improving hospital food, which was published in The Sun newspaper.
 

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales said: “With climate change an urgent priority and obesity costing the NHS £6billion a year, serving good, healthy food has multiple advantages.
“Patients benefit from nutritious, tasty menus; British farmers benefit from local, reliable supply contracts and food miles, pollution and greenhouse gases are minimised.”
 

HRH The Prince of Wales has long been actively involved in the drive towards better hospital food and has been working with the Soil Association, as our Royal Patron, since 2004. At a Soil Association event which took place at the Royal Brompton hospital in 2008, he encouraged NHS hospital trust chief executives to improve the quality of hospital food, saying “we are what we eat…we go into hospital to get well, so what we eat must help, not hinder that process.”


Many of those who attended the event on 15 December 2011 were from hospitals which featured as success stories in the Soil Association’s 'First aid for hospital food' report released earlier this year, exposing the often shocking state of hospital food in Britain today. It showed that hospital food’s rotten reputation is often richly deserved. Every independent survey of hospital food since 1963 has concluded that NHS food is neither appetising nor nutritious. Indeed, the identity of the food in many of the pictures we received from patients remains a mystery.
 

While negative reports on hospital food will surprise few, our report was also full of success stories. Improvements in quality, local food sourcing which improved patients’ food were made without inflating hospital budgets. In fact, a significant number of hospitals were already sourcing local, seasonal, organic food - cutting their food miles, boosting their local economies and serving healthier, fresher meals to their patients within tight budgets. In some cases the switch actually saved money.

As Soil Association Policy Director Peter Melchett pointed out, "all too frequently the food served in our hospitals is more appropriate to a disease service than a health service. Overall, hospital food is a national scandal, but all the hospitals that attended this ‘best of British hospital food’ event provide the blueprints for national reform - practical examples which demonstrate that really good hospital food needn't cost more.”
 

The hospitals which attended the event were Royal Brompton Hospital, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation, North Bristol NHS Trust, South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT), Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Darlington Memorial Hospital, Braintree Community Hospital, Bedford Memorial Hospital, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, St Andrews Healthcare Trust and NHS Lothian.

• The Sun article
• More about the Food for Life Catering Mark for hospitals
 

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales hosted a reception at Clarence House on Thursday 15 December to congratulate 14 hospitals from around the country on the excellent work they have done to improve their food, as identified by the Soil Association.
 






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