Case Study: Royal Brompton Hospital
Royal Brompton Hospital is situated in Chelsea, in the heart of London. The hospital has more than 1,600 staff and 295 beds, including 48 for surgery, 93 for respiratory patients, 48 for cardiology, 34 paediatric, 20 for intensive care and 12 for paediatric intensive care.
The Hospital catering team took part in British Food Fortnight by changing recipes to use British produce and introduced as much British grownfood to the staff restaurant menu as possible.Each day during the two weeks of British Food Fortnight a different food wasfeatured, for example, British sausages, cheese, apples and pears were all used. Local farmers and suppliers were invited to visit the hospital to promote their products to the hospital staff and customers. Some gave away free samples, which were a great success!
In the second year, again menus incorporated as much British produce as possible. Only British orchard apples were served to patients and staff, plus bacon and sausages from particular producers in Hertfordshire were offered at all breakfast services. An English cheeseboard and local fruit juices were available every day during the fortnight for staff to sample. The initiative was promoted using British Food Fortnight all over the hospital, decorating the staff restaurant with Union Jacks, balloons and bunting and posting on the staff intranet.
The hospital sourced regional food and drink via a list of local suppliers from the Hospital Caterers Association. They also used local contacts belonging to staff and friends and expanded existing relationships. Some of the local produce included:
- Locally baked bread using flour milled in Kent.
- The Sussex Cheeseboard with five local cheeses.
- Kent orchard apples and pears.
- Organic milk from Bedfordshire.
- Local venison burgers, Kentish honey and mustard sausages and handmade chicken and ham pies, all produced by small suppliers in Kent.
The staff restaurant saw a 12% increase of sales during the fortnight, and the initiative improved staff and patient moral, giving them the opportunity to taste new foods that are not normally available in hospitals. In addition, press coverage was increased, including an article in the Farmers Weekly.
Moving forward, the hospital is planning to use some of the recipes from the Fortnight permanently throughout the year to make the hospital menu more sustainable. The Royal Brompton Hospital went on to work with Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, on their Chelsea Cluster project, which helps catering services from the NHS, care homes, schools and colleges in west London to collaborate in order to procure local food in a more sustainable way.