News Better Hospital Food

Dame Prue Leith receives lifetime achievement award

Sustain congratulates Dame Prue Leith on her lifetime achievement award, and thanks her for all her work over the years to help us win better standards for hospital food, to support patients, NHS staff and hospital visitors.

Hospital food tray. Credit: Raw Pexels

Hospital food tray. Credit: Raw Pexels

Sustain ran the Campaign for Better Hospital Food from 2008 to 2020, achieving significant policies and improvements in higher quality and healthy hospital food, and winning the case for hospital food buying to support sustainable farmers and fishers. Read a potted history of the campaign here. 

Sustain offers our congratulationss to Dame Prue Leith on the announcement that the Guild of Food Writers will award her the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at its 27th Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, 12 June 2024.

Sustain's Chief Executive Kath Dalmeny said:

"We are privileged to have worked with Dame Prue Leith, who admirably uses her well-earned celebrity status and influence for good purposes. She has been a fabulous and influential champion of Sustain’s Campaign for Better Hospital Food over several years. She was instrumental in us winning a commitment from Simon Stephens, then head of NHS England, to piloting a sugary drinks levy in NHS outlets, which helped to make the case for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy that removes millions of tonnes of sugar from our diets and raises millions of pounds for investment in children's health. She was also an influential advisor to the Government's Hospital Food Review, bringing the food concerns of hospital patients, families, chefs, food procurement professionals and NHS staff to the national policy stage."

Guild of Food Writers President Orlando Murrin said:

"We are delighted to bestow our top award on Dame Prue, who is such a loved and revered figure on the British food scene. This award is in recognition of a remarkably long, dazzling and varied career, and the pleasure she has given to millions of readers and viewers."

Prue Leith’s career has included her own restaurants, catering and cookery school businesses; she’s been a board director of companies such as British Rail, Halifax, Safeway, Whitbread, Woolworths, and Belmond (ex-Orient Express) Hotels. She has published eight novels, a memoir, I’ll Do Anything Once (formerly, Relish) and 14 cookbooks. Her latest cookbook, Bliss on Toast, was published by Bloomsbury in 2022.

Prue is probably best known as a judge on the Great British Bake Off, but last year she also presented a gardening programme, Prue’s Great Garden Plot with her husband, and this year will judge the American equivalent of Bake Off. She has also been a judge on The Great British Menu and My Kitchen Rules and her latest series is Prue Leith's Cotswold Garden. 

Prue has had a deep involvement with education and the arts: she chaired the first of the companies charged with turning round failing state schools, and was Chair of the School Food Trust, responsible for the improvement of school food and food education. She started and led the campaign for contemporary sculpture to be exhibited on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. She has been active in many charities and is the Chancellor of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. She was an advisor for the Government’s Hospital Food Review. Prue Leith also contributed to Sustain's Home from Hospital report, seeking to improve food access for people making the transition from hospital care to living at home.

Published Wednesday 5 June 2024

Better Hospital Food: The campaign represents a coalition of organisations calling on the Westminster government to introduce mandatory nutritional, environmental and ethical standards for food served to patients in NHS hospitals in England.

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