Hospital food earns Soil Association award

Wednesday 21 September 2016

Guy's and St Thomas' Group Catering Manager Robert Cormack accepts the Soil Association's Bronze Award

Catering staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust have earned a prestigious award which recognises their work in preparing high quality, nutritious meals for patients.

The Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark bronze award recognises the Trust’s steps towards preparing sustainable food for patients which is ethically sourced and meets nutritional guidelines.

The award comes as Guy's and St Thomas' launches its Nutritional Care Strategy to help staff prevent malnutrition in vulnerable patients, provide safe specialist nutrition where required and encourage patients, staff and visitors to choose healthier food options.

Robert Cormack, group catering manager at Guy's and St Thomas', says: “We are one of the few remaining hospitals making all our food freshly in our kitchen on site – the Catering Mark is the perfect tool to help us take our food to the next level, so we’re delighted to receive it.

“We already work closely with clinical staff to ensure that food is as much a part of a patient’s recovery as their treatment. This award is the perfect incentive for improving patient food even further – for example, we have taken out all additives, trans-fats and things that aren’t good for patients.

“Our strategy will help us keep firmly on track. It’s the simple little things that make the patient experience that little bit better.”

The Mark is an independent certification which demonstrates that the catering team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ is using more fresh ingredients which are free from undesirable additives, are better for animal welfare, and easily traceable. The award was presented on Tuesday 20 September.

Robert Cormack adds: “Achieving the Catering Mark did have its challenges. We had to change all our meat to farm-assured meat, including changing sandwich suppliers to match the standard of animal welfare required.

“We still found that we could keep the same favourite options on the menu, including beef ragout, chicken and mushroom pie and a fish option which is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. It’s already helping to improve our patient food and the next step is the visitor restaurants and cafes in our hospitals.”

Lizzie Testani, Soil Association Catering Mark Project Manager, says: “It’s been fantastic to work with Guy's and St Thomas' to help them improve the food served to their patients. Healthy places need healthy food and it’s inspiring to see such a hardworking catering team dedicated to giving their patients the best opportunity for recovery. We’re looking forward to working with the team further in the future.”

Find out more about the Food for Life Catering Mark.

Last updated: September 2016

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