Jan 20th 2016
NHS Trust sees sweet results in move to provide healthier food choices
Data released by Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, at its public board meeting in January, demonstrates encouraging results from a policy of increasing the range of healthy food options available to staff and visitors, dropping the price of healthy options, and increasing prices on less healthy options.
This policy is now being mandated across the NHS. SWBH NHS Trust began implementing it in 2014 as part of a three year Public Health Plan.
Chief Executive Toby Lewis commented: “We are delighted that in the last year we have halved the number of chip portions sold at the Trust, directly as a result of our ‘Choose Green’ campaign. We have seen healthy options chosen by staff increase sharply, and we will be increasing the healthy options we sell further this spring.
“In 2014 we published our Public Health strategy, which contained a set of promises – some based on work we had already started – to work with partners in providing healthier choices for everyone, and to invest more in staff welfare and wellbeing. A new gym for staff at Sandwell opens in a few weeks time.
“We launched our ‘Choose Green’ campaign aiming to promote healthier eating in the Trust by changing the pricing in Trust food outlets to reflect the nutritional content of various foods.
“Foods which were higher in fat, salt or sugar were rated red and increased in price, whilst foods which were lower were rated green and the prices reduced. We also removed some foods, like sugary drinks, from all our vending machines and most other outlets.
“By April 2016, we will have in place hot food 24 hours a day that our nutritionists tell us is healthy, because we will buy in special vending machines providing meals to visitors and overnight staff.
“We are extremely proud to be one of a few trusts in the country with a long term public health plan for patients and staff. As other hospitals across England follow this week’s announcement by NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens to increase the cost of unhealthy food choices, we can report that within our Trust we have already started to see the result of people choosing healthier food through applying this policy.”
Issued by SWBH NHS Trust Communications Department. Tel: 0121 507 5303.
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