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Case Study: Nottingham City Hospital - a study in local sourcing

Case Study: Nottingham City Hospital - a study in local sourcing

Case Study: Nottingham City Hospital - a study in local sourcing

Love British Food has worked with this hospital since 2006.

Nottingham City Hospital serves three meals a day to 1,000 bed patients and 100 day patients; it also has a 250 seater restaurant and 5 coffee shops.

In 2006, Nottingham City Hospital set themselves the challenge of sourcing locally for a month over British Food Fortnight while still fulfilling menus that were agreed and printed months in advance. To find suppliers of meat, vegetables and dairy for the promotion they:

  • Obtained a list of local suppliers from the Hospital Caterers Association and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.
  • Sent each of them a copy of the menu and an invitation to pitch for the business. As a result they ended up sourcing from a selection of new and old suppliers.

As a result, by the end of 2006:

  • Relationship with the local dairy was maintained post the promotion.
  • Finalised plans with a butcher so all the meat in the future was from the East Midlands.
  • Next step was to look for local vegetable suppliers.
  • “It’s proved cheaper than what we were paying before.” Perry Lewis, Nottingham City Hospital
  • Positive feedback all-round, particularly from patients.
  • Sourcing milk locally has been a cost neutral exercise: savings have been made because milk is bought in litres and not pints (yet for the same
  • price) and there is less wastage as the reduced time from ‘teat to table’ means that it has a better shelf-life.
  • Entry into Hospital Chef of the Year 2006 was, uniquely, a ‘Sustainability Menu’ and it won the silver medal. Additional press coverage received as a result.
  • Improved staff morale as the hospital chefs have enjoyed being challenged mentally in the kitchen.
  • “They could do what they were doing before blindfolded. This freshens everything up.”

The hospital has continued to develop its menus along these lines with sourcing locally as much as possible. Engagement started with the public in 2017 and the Memory Menu was launched in March 2018.

Current status as reported by Chris Neale, Soft Facilities Manager:

  • Good nutrition and hydration is a vital part of patients’ recovery when in the hospital’s care.
  • The hospital has excellent relationships with local farms and suppliers of whom they work closely with to ensure patients and visitors get the freshest seasonal produce.
  • New menus mention the fact that the hospital runs sustainable menus.
  • The main NUH memory menu highlights dishes that the public of Nottingham have requested to go on the patient feeding menu.
  • Social media has been used to engage with the public as well speaking to patients whilst in their care.
  • 5,400 meals using fresh local ingredients served a day over two sites.
  • 12 qualified chefs and 1 apprentice
  • 65% of food used on the Memory Menu is local/British.
  • No cost implication of using British produce year round.
  • Relationships with suppliers are key and we know where our ingredients are from.
  • Patients order each meal three hours before meal service
  • Runner up British Food Fortnight competition 2017/2018
  • National Hospital Caterer of the year 2018
  • Finalist Hospital Caterer of the year 2019
  • Finalist Catering Service of the year 2019
  • Winner at the patient network experience awards 2019
  • Finalist Cost Sector Catering awards 2019
  • Winner Health and Business awards 2019