Hospitals in the UK spend an estimated £950 million on fish each year – they therefore have a tremendous opportunity to support fisheries that are operating sustainably.
In September 2015, the Department for Health made a landmark commitment – from April 2015 all NHS Hospitals in England are legally-bound to comply with new Hospital Food Standards. Including that: all fish must be demonstrably sustainable, and fish must be served twice per week.
Sustainable Fish Cities helped to devise the standards adopted into the NHS Standard Contract for hospitals. In theory, all hospitals should now be serving only verifiably sustainable fish; in practice only around half of UK hospitals say that they are following the standard, and there are few checks in place to encourage the others to improve. Sustain continues to lobby for change.
Meanwhile, the following hospitals and hospital trusts have signed up to a sustainable fish buying policy, and also to promote sustainable fish to patients, staff and visitors. We applaud them for showing this leadership.
Bournemouth Hospital provides health care for the residents of Bournemouth, Christchurch, East Dorset and part of the New Forest, with a total population of around 550,000. The hospital provides thousands of meals per year to patients, and by signing the Sustainable Fish City pledge is affirming their commitment to sustainability.
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is responsible for managing all aspects of NHS healthcare in the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan area, with seventeen health centres including nine major hospitals. One of the largest health boards in the UK, it manages a huge volume of food services for patients, staff and visitors.
Nuffield Health Plymouth
Nuffield Health is a not-for-profit provider of private health and medical services. They operate hospitals, gyms and wellbeing centres across the UK. Nuffield Health Plymouth run Plymouth Hospital, a 37-bed inpatient and large outpatient centre, adjacent to Plymouth NHS teaching hospital. Their food-serving facilities are MSC certified so signing the pledge re-affirms their commitment to serve and promote MSC-Certified fish.
Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is a 621-bed acute general hospital, predominantly serving the 272,000 people living in Poole, East Dorset and Purbeck, and is the trauma unit for East Dorset, with a 24-hour major A&E department. The hospital provides thousands of meals per year to patients, and by signing the Sustainable Fish City pledge is affirming their commitment to sustainability.
Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
The Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of integrated health services from 13 community hospitals and four mental health sites. It employs 4,300 staff, and they serve about 454,200 meals per year to patients. The Trust has already committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, carbon footprint and waste. In signing the pledge, they are committing to ensuring that all their suppliers meet the Government Buying Standards for fish.