Food Programme receives royal acclaim
The groundbreaking work of the Cornwall NHS Food Programme team received royal acclaim this week as His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales held it up as an example for the rest of the NHS as he took part in a national seminar on hospital catering in London yesterday (6 February).
Bill Byers, Director of Cornwall Healthcare Estates & Support Services and Roy Heath, Sustainable Food Development Manager for the NHS in Cornwall took part and presented at the seminar to share the Cornwall approach to sustainable food procurement. Following a presentation by Mike Duckett of the Royal Brompton Hospital London, also committed to a local and organic procurement policy, Bill Byers gave a 15-minute presentation about the programme and its vision to His Royal Highness and delegates.
His Royal Highness referred to the Cornwall NHS Food Programme as an example to other NHS Trusts that sustainable procurement can be achieved without impacting on budgets.
Roy said: "Since the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust made the initial commitment to local purchasing we have put a great deal of work into what has become a Cornwall-wide initiative for the NHS. We know from our patients' comments that they want to see fresh, locally produced ingredients in their meals and there's no doubt we have a wealth of top quality, affordable produce on our doorstep."
He added: "We're just about to move into the next exciting phase of the Food Programme with the opening of our own food production unit; replacing the cramped facilities that were originally designed to cater for a much smaller Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. Not only will our own chefs be able to create first class meals for patients across Cornwall using the very latest technology and design in large scale commercial catering, we will be able to further develop our ethos of local purchasing, contributing to economic regeneration."
Also chairing one of the discussion sessions at the seminar was Dr Gabriel Scally, Director of Public Health for the NHS South West, who said: "Nutritional food is crucial for everyone's health and well being, but when people feel poorly in hospital it is even more important to tempt them back to health with the very best in quality ingredients. Patients need to be offered high quality, nutritious and tempting food to recover from illness.
"I wholeheartedly welcome this scheme which has holistic benefits for patients, for the environment and for the local economy. The Cornwall Food Programme is a remarkable achievement, which I hope will be replicated across the South West region. It is a recipe for success!"
For further information please contact Press and Public Relations Office, Royal Cornwall Hospital, on 01872 252934.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Cornwall NHS Food Programme through the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).
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