NHS Forth Valley Top for Catering & Nutrition

NHS Forth Valley has scored top marks again for serving tasty well-planned menus within our hospitals.

According to NHS Scotland’s half-yearly compliance report (July – December 2012), NHS Forth Valley was one of only two Scottish health boards and the only geographic NHS Board in Scotland to score 100% for compliance across seven catering categories. These measure a range of factors from the patient’s overall experience and impression of hospital food to menu planning and the provision of food for patients on special diets.

This is the second time the Board has attained 100% compliance in this area, after coming top of the table in the previous report for January 2012 to June 2012.

Food at Forth Valley Royal Hospital is freshly prepared on-site each day by a team of skilled chefs who also prepare meals for patients within NHS Forth Valley’s four community hospitals. The restaurant within Forth Valley Royal Hospital, which is open to staff, patients and visitors, has already received a Healthy Eating Award for helping to promote healthier options.

Tom Steele, Director of Strategic Projects and Property for NHS Forth Valley, said:

 Ensuring that our patients are well fed and their nutritional needs catered for while they are in hospital is a key priority. These results are a great achievement and show once again that NHS Forth Valley is leading the way when it comes to serving healthy, tasty and well balanced food.”

Catering is one of the support services provided at Forth Valley Royal Hospital by the facilities company Serco, who send their chefs to specialist cook schools to improve quality and variety. Mike Mackay, Serco Contract Director at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, added:

 We are absolutely delighted with these results which reflect the dedication and commitment of our catering staff to delivering high quality, freshly prepared food. Over the last year we have worked very closely with NHS Forth Valley dieticians to develop our menus and we are always looking at new ways to further improve the quality and variety of the food we provide.”

Boards are measured according to a traffic light system with green indicating compliance above 90% to achieve the Government target.

NHS Boards are scored on the following categories:  Nutritional Needs of the Population, Food Based Standards, Menu Planning, Menu Planning Guidance, Therapeutic Diet Provision, Special Diet Provision and Patient Experience. This ensures that every aspect of food and nutrition is considered, from nutritional needs of individual patients of all ages and abilities to special dietary provisions for those with religious or cultural needs. The quality of the food on offer is also considered in line with Government targets, which means that patients are given the opportunity to eat five portions of fruit or vegetables a day and two portions of fish weekly.