Hospital food is changing – are you compliant?

13 March 2018

A recent study conducted by the London South Bank University and Edinburgh Napier University has found that 1 in 4 NHS nurses are obese with a BMI above 30, posing a serious risk to their health and wellbeing.

Co-author of the study, Dr Richard Kyle, from Edinburgh Napier University, said: “It is vital that we redouble our efforts to take care of our healthcare workforce who do so much to care for others.”

Professor Jane Wills, from London South Bank University, and co-author of the paper, said: “The high prevalence of obesity among the healthcare workforce should urge policymakers and employers to provide solutions through workplace initiatives that support staff to maintain a healthy body weight.”

The Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) has long been trying to ‘improve staff health and wellbeing’ by implementing changes to hospital food and drink provided to NHS staff, visitors and patients.

Obesity NHS nurses Kafoodle

In the 2016/2017 CQUIN guidance, 4 key changes were outlined;

1. The banning of price promotions of sugary drinks and foods high in fat, sugar or salt

2. The banning of advertisements on NHS premises of sugary drinks and foods high in fat, sugar or salt

3. The banning of sugary drinks and foods high in fat, sugar or salt from checkouts

4. Ensuring that healthy options are available at any point including for those staff working night shifts

Work is continuing to be done to ensure the implementation of the 2016/2017 changes with additional changes added to the 2017-2019 CQUIN report. These additional changes fall into three key areas; drinks, confectionary and sweets and pre-packed sandwiches and other savoury pre-packed meals.

The new CQUIN 2017-2019 guidance

Drinks

  • 2017/18: 70% of drinks lines stocked must be sugar-free (less than 5 grams of sugar per 100ml).
  • 2018/19: 80% of drinks lines stocked must be sugar-free (less than 5 grams of sugar per 100ml).
  • In addition to the usual definition of SSBs it also includes energy drinks, fruit juices (with added sugar content of over 5g) and milk-based drinks (with a sugar content of over 10 grams per 100ml).

Confectionery and sweets

  • 2017/18: 60% of confectionery and sweets do not exceed 250 kcal.
  • 2018/19: 80% of confectionery and sweets do not exceed 250 kcal.

Pre-packed sandwiches and other savoury pre-packed meals

  • 2017/18: At least 60% of pre-packed sandwiches and other savoury pre-packed meals (wraps, salads, pasta salads) available contain 400kcal (1680 kJ) or less per serving and do not exceed 5.0g saturated fat per 100g
  • 2017/18: At least 75% of pre-packed sandwiches and other savoury pre-packed meals (wraps, salads, pasta salads) available contain 400kcal (1680 kJ) or less per serving and do not exceed 5.0g saturated fat per 100g

Pre-packed food sandwiches KAfoodle Labelling

How will progress towards these targets be measured?

The CQUIN guidance states that ‘the provider is responsible for data collection’. The evidence provided by the provider should show that a substantiative change has been made towards providing healthier products including:

  • A reduction in the percentage of high sugar/salt products displayed
  • An increase in the number of healthier alternatives provided
  • Avoidance of overt promotion of unhealthy products

The exact detail of reporting is to be agreed locally so that it can be adapted to the local situation. Each provider must evidence to commissioners that they have maintained the changes in 2016/17 and introduced the 2017/18 changes by providing at least the following evidence:

  • A signed document between the NHS Trust and any external food supplier committing to keeping the changes
  • Evidence for improvements provided to a public-facing board meeting

How can Kafoodle help? 

We understand that it is not always immediately obvious which foods contain a high amount of sugar, salt or fat and have a developed a range of software to cut through the misconceptions and offer hospitals true nutritional transparency.

Kafoodle Kitchen makes the perfect partner to a hospital food-service outlet, providing you with consistent and digital recipe spec sheets which easily outline the nutrition and allergen information at an individual portion level. Use the labelling functionality within Kafoodle Kitchen to easily create and print compliant nutritional labels for pre-packed sandwiches and foods.

Improve communication with your staff, patients and visitors through our communications tool, Kafoodle Comms, your own branded App which harnesses the Kafoodle technology and system data to deliver each diner the information they need to make informed dietary choices right to their fingertips.

For inpatients, Kafoodle Meal Planning is a tailored meal planning software which ensures that each patient is delivered optimally nutritious meals that suit their individual dietary needs and preferences. Kafoodle Kare is designed specifically for the health and social care sector and is the only software of its kind working to take into consideration food-medication clashes.

You can find out more about what Kafoodle can do for you here or by contacting us directly at: info@kafoodle.com or on 02033710450

We’d love to hear from you!