Hospital Food Voices: appendices for Wellcome Trust

Sustain wants to make healthy nutrition in hospitals an expectation for patients and their families and an imperative for NHS care providers. We will run a nationwide Better Hospital Food communication and engagement campaign, using the best of inspirational local involvement, online data capture, social media, vlogs, podcasts and more traditional techniques, to raise understanding among patients, NHS staff and policy-makers of the role good nutrition plays in people’s physical and mental health – both in recovery and long-term. Building on significant foundations from our prior work, we will use the NHS as a conduit for a cultural shift in the way the nation appreciates the science of good food and health.

Appendices to Sustain's application to the Wellcome Trust

Who we will work with

Better Hospital Food is a collaboration of food, health, hospital and medical organisations coordinated by Sustain, including NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England, medical professionals and nutrition scientists. Evidence of support includes:

  • List of Better Hospital Food programme supporting organisations
  • Letter of support for this proposal from NHS England
  • Letter of support for this proposal from NHS Improvement
  • Letter of support from Katharine Jenner, Chair of the Better Hospital Food programme, on behalf of Consensus Action on Salt and Health; World Action on Salt and Health; Action on Sugar; and Blood Pressure UK 

Pilot and related work informing our application

A new online system will enable easy data submission, building on our successful 2016/17 pilot with 30 out of 39 of London’s acute hospitals: ‘Taking the Pulse of Hospital Food’. This will generate an easily navigable live-data map and national comparisons cultivating healthy peer pressure. 

Working with the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, Public Health England, Sustainable Food Cities and others, Sustain is coordinating the national Sugar Smart campaign. The model of data capture and aggregating local feedback to create a national picture and engagement campaign informs a key element of this hospital proposal.

Selected evidence of Sustain's track record

Sustain has worked in partnership with others over seven years to build the foundations for better hospital food. We have:

  • Secured Government Buying Standards for food, including basic health and sustainability, now required in the NHS Standard Contract.
  • Been instrumental in NHS England introducing financial incentives (CQUINs) for hospitals to reduce promotion of unhealthy food on NHS premises, as well as restrictions on sugary drinks, and ensured major retail brands meet targets.
  • Worked with Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, Public Health England, Sustainable Food Cities and others to launch the national Sugar Smart campaign. The model of data capture and aggregating local feedback to create a national picture and engagement campaign informs a key element of this hospital proposal.
  • Run a pilot food survey with London’s NHS acute hospitals, ‘Taking the Pulse’, on which our proposed national hospital food survey is based.
  • Trained many hospital chefs.
  • Worked with Wellcome Trust to train hundreds of Crunch Ambassadors, developing engaging ways to connect people with food issues.

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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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