North Bristol NHS Trust

Bristol's flagship hospital is at the heart of the community.

North Bristol NHS Trust has been serving Silver Food for Life Served Here meals to patients since 2013, having gained Bronze initially in 2009. They now serve 1,900 meals a day, that's 693,500 annually, to patients. The hospital’s staff restaurant, VU, has a Bronze award.

Why is Food for Life Served Here important?
Gary Wilkins, Head of Catering at North Bristol NHS Trust says: ‘It’s something tangible to show patients, visitors and other interested parties just how important providing improved patient meals is for us ... we feel we are really contributing to the local economy and feeding back into our community.

How are we doing?
93% of patient food is freshly prepared. In a recent survey, 95% of respondents said meals were good or excellent. 

I loved the food, I’m sure it helped with my speedy recovery.

Patient from North Bristol NHS Trust

What’s on the menu?
Ingredients include locally-sourced organic mince beef. Eggs are free range and meat and meat products are Farm Assured.

‘Switching to Farm Assured meat did increase our ingredient spend’, says the Trust’s Catering Manager, Gary Wilkins, ‘but only by one penny per meal, and it’s worth it to know that we’re serving meat from farms with good standards of animal welfare’.

Ice cream comes from Marshfield Farm, 15 miles away, while family-run Gundenham Dairy supplies 412,800 pints of milk from Wellington, 50 miles from Bristol. Bread and cakes come from Yatton, 30 minutes away.

Food for Life Served Here Supplier Scheme

The Food for Life Served Here Supplier Scheme has helped the Trust’s Environmental Sourcing Policy, which commits to monitoring and sourcing local, organic, seasonal and fairly traded food.

Secrets to success?
Staff training.’ says Gary, ‘New staff receive two-day general induction training, then a third day covers Food for Life Served Here and is delivered by myself or my colleague Paula Thornell, Food Production Manager in charge of Patient food. Current staff receive two refresher training sessions devised by the dietician, covering diet, portion control and meal presentation’.

‘The locally-sourced mackerel (cooked fresh in front of customer) was wonderful to see and taste!’ said our auditor at a recent inspection.

Other accolades
North Bristol NHS Trust won the NHS Sustainability Award for Food in May 2015.

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"Our Silver Food for Life Served Here award provides reassurance to patients that meals are of the highest quality and provenance."Simon Wood (North Bristol NHS Trust)