A photo of a woman holding a plate of fruit

Beaufort & Skipton Health Service

Just eight months after Beaufort and Skipton Health Service committed to being a community leader in healthy eating, both sites now meet the Healthy Choices guidelines.

 

Identifying a need for change

Both of Beaufort and Skipton Health Services’ (BSHS) sites provide catering for meetings and staff meals and snacks based on the in-patient menu. But the foods and drinks did not align with the Healthy Choices guidelines (HCG) for hospital retail food outlets.

In December 2019, Health Promotion Officer, Amy Licheni, attended a HEAS ‘Healthy Choices implementation forum’ where she learned how other organisations have implemented the HCG, which provided plenty of inspiration for what BSHS could also achieve.

 

Taking action

A working party was established that included key staff from food services, HR, corporate services and health promotion. They met monthly to plan and manage implementing the HCG in BSHS’s staff and catering menus.

They surveyed BSHS staff about the foods and drinks on offer and found that the majority wanted healthier options, and would be accepting if some unhealthy items were no longer available.

Amy then assessed the current menus online using FoodChecker. This revealed that the staff menu included 20% GREEN (Best Choice), and 52% RED (Limit) foods and drinks, and the catering menu provided 20% GREEN, and 33% RED options.

With ongoing support and advice from HEAS, Amy and the working party planned their implementation process, and identified changes they could make to the foods and drinks without affecting the in-patient menus.

Some of the changes included replacing biscuits with a fruit bowl, and making some existing recipes GREEN by using reduced fat cheese and mayonnaise, and removing processed meats. They also added fruit and vegetable platters and more fresh sandwiches to the catering menu.

Staff were also kept up to date with the changes via articles in the monthly newsletter, which were often accompanied by healthy recipes for staff to try.

 

Two pie charts showing the percentage of red and green foods before and after implementation

 

Welcome results

BSHS’s staff menu now meets the guidelines, as it contains 71% GREEN and only 12% RED items, and the catering menu contains 89% GREEN, and no RED items. And what’s more, these great results have been achieved despite much of the implementation occurring during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“I believe our success and the positive response to our new menus is due to our working party's collaboration, HEAS' coaching, and engaging our staff throughout"

- Amy, Health Promotion Officer

 

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