Love British Food is working closely with NHS staff and hospital trusts to encourage caterers to choose British as their preferred suppliers.
Andy Jones, Chair of PSC100 and member of Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) and Ambassador for Love British Food. Over 30 years experience delivering
wholesome and nutritious food to all patients. Andy Jones said: "Seasonal food has long been forgotten, due to imports, however, if we get back
to using the season, we support British farming, but also ensure our menus are full of the great food that Isle produces and flavors that encourage
people to eat."
Phil Shelley, Love British Food National Committee is Chair of the Hospital Food Review,
working with catering managers across the country to improve food quality while considering sustainability and the environmental impact of the supply chain, as well as sourcing more local food. Phil Shelley said: "It is integral that we support British produce on hospital menus when catering for patients, staff and visitors. British Food Fortnight is the perfect opportunity for hospitals to celebrate and work with local producers.
Love British Food challenged a top London restaurant to serve a 3-course meal using British ingredients working to the per patient budget of a typical hospital
Love British Food asked Michelin-starred chef Phil Howard to create a meal to a £4 per head budget (based on 3 courses).Might sound like a tall order but by putting vegetables as the central focus and using cheaper cuts of meat Phil managed to produce amazing dishes.These included Sourdough bread with Longley Farm Jersey butter; Steamed hispi cabbage with a coddle Chapel Farm eggs dressing and a Roulade of Welsh Black Mountain chicken with creamed potato, Worcestershire leek hearts and spinach and a dessert of Organic buttermilk mousse with Yorkshire rhubarb and orange.Guests tasting the dishes were impressed.Phil Howard says, “Providing British meals on a small budget can be done - as long as one respects the seasons - this is key. With the buying power that some hospitals have there is a strong case for more British seasonal produce to be served to patients”.
Steamed Hispi Cabbage with a Coddle Chapel Farm Egg Dressing & Montgomery Cheddar.
Roulade of Welsh Black Mountain Chicken with Creamed Potato, Worcestershire Leek Hearts and Spinach
Organic Buttermilk Mousse with Yorkshire Rhubarb & Orange.
Phil concluded: “There has never been a better time to make the switch to buying British local produce, in fact, British Food Fortnight is the perfect opportunity to make the move. Whether you’re a chef in a cafe, pub or restaurant, school, hospital or care home, buying British does not mean your spend will increase, in fact , it can even save you money and bring you closer to local producers. Using local British produce, I produced a 3 course menu to the same price per head (£) that hospitals work to, it can be done!"
Freeman Hospital is part of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Over 14,000 staff employed across two large sites and in the Newcastle community serving approx 778,927 patient meals a year plus visitor restaurants
and staff. Support by:
- Working very closely with all suppliers throughout the year making sure they use as much British produce as they can
- Running menus for both patient and staff only using British products
- Looking towards changing their functions menus to incorporate only British products
- Specifically behind British Food Fortnight they ran a daily ‘Chef Specials’ menu all using locally sourced British meat and seasonal British vegetables. Classics such as Chicken & Mushroom Pie, Beef Lasagne and British roast meats on a Sunday all featured on the menu
Nottingham University Hospital
657,000 meals served a year using fresh local ingredients with 77% of its raw ingredients spend going on local ingredients such as meat, fresh produce,
bakery products and milk.
Working with the community to devise menus to tempt patients to eat when they felt poorly. Comfort dishes and local dishes were popular roast dinners, stews and dumplinsg, pies and soups, with puddings such as sponge and custard, fruit crumble and Nottingham favourite – cornflake tart.
Chris Neal, Head of Catering at NUH said: “The Memory Menu is designed by patients for patients and I am passionate about the work we have done here since launch as it really makes a difference to helping promote better recovery for patients.If people like what they are eating and are given some options in choosing what is on offer it will help.Nutrition is the main form of medicine – if patients are eating well it can help them with their recovery.”
Royal Brompton Hospital
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 grown food to the staff restaurant menu as possible. Each day during the two weeks of British Food Fortnight a different food was featured, 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.
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.
They set themselves the challenge of sourcing locally for a month over the 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 and sent them each a copy of the menu and an invitation to pitch for business. As a result they ended up sourcing from a selection of new and old suppliers.
The initiative gained positive feedback all-round, particularly from patients and improved staff moral 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.”
Sourcing milk locally was found to be 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.
For the long term, the relationship with the local dairy was been maintained post promotion and all meat is sourced form the East Midlands.
Lessons learnt and advice for others:
- Sourcing local food was cheaper than expected.
- Include a‘Chef’s Special’on the menu to add flexibility to both the food and ordering process.
- Use phrases like‘seasonal veg’ on menu as this means you can take a variety of different stock from different suppliers.
- Be open-minded when thinking about using local suppliers.
- Don’t be put off by prices that initially may seem higher. Buying large volumes of produce can make the whole process affordable.
- Think about the long lasting impact on the local economy and environment by offering a sustainable menu.
Running across Furness General Hospital, Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Westmorland General.
The trust employs approximately 5,000 staff and serves a population of around 363,000. In the last financial year 2015 /16 the Trust served food to 778,938 to inpatients and as well as this they deliver 50-60 meals Monday - Friday to discharged patients in the community, which are delivered by volunteers.
- Working with local suppliers to bring Afternoon tea of scones, sandwiches to our patients using British Products Organising theme days for both patients and our staff, and not forgetting clients in the community
- Running menus for our patients and restaurants using only British Products
- Bringing suppliers on site to do some cooking demonstration within the restaurants
- Promote what is sold as British products / taste testing for our service users
- Promote seasonal products through restaurants and patient menus
- Encourage services users to buy more British foods – have a stand within our restaurants and main entrances to encourage