The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has signed a five-step ‘Sustainable Fish Cities’ pledge to work towards buying, serving and promoting sustainable seafood to both staff and patients.
As part of recognising the importance of fish as a nutritious meal option, patients can find fish on the menu three times a week, the majority of which is already sourced from sustainable stock. The new pledge means that the Trust can now only buy fish from an approved list.
Catering Manager, Andy Whittingham, said: “Our Trust provides thousands of meals every year to our patients and staff, so by committing to this pledge, not only does this affirm our commitment to sourcing our food from sustainable stock, it means we are looking after the welfare of our patients and staff in every possible way.”
Over the past 12 months the team has continued to work hard to ensure all food served to patients, staff and visitors is nutritious and of the best possible quality.
Purchasing Manager, Louise Clyde, has worked at the hospital for 22 years, initially as executive head chef before moving into her current role.
She said: “We are currently working even closer with our suppliers by asking them to sign declarations so we can trace all our meat back to its original source, as well as knowing whether any additives have been added.
“It’s about having complete transparency and taking responsibility by knowing exactly where the food we serve comes from. As an ex-head chef I am really proud of the quality of food we serve, as we can now say that our food products are either free-range, Farm Assured or Red Tractor products.”
The Trust has also been awarded the Good Egg Award from Compassion in World Farming, which recognises that only cage-free eggs are sourced and cooked in our kitchen.
Seasonal and local food is purchased wherever possible to support the local community, for example eggs are sourced from Dorset and Somerset farms and turkey from Blandford.
Over the past couple of months, the team has also brought in even more positive changes including new organic yoghurts and organic milk, Fairtrade bananas, and an even further reduction in additives to any cooking. It is now working towards achieving the Food for Life Award from the Soil Association and is on target to achieve the Red Tractor kite mark this year.