Y Gegin Staff. Credit Cardiff and Vale UHB
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) has a statutory responsibility for improving the health of their population and providing individual patient centred care. Over half (54%) of the adult population and 21.5% of children in Cardiff and Vale are overweight or obese and just 31% of adults report eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily.
With a population of 445,000, the Health Board has a significant opportunity to promote health and wellbeing – a quarter of residents attend a hospital based service each year. Cardiff and Vale UHB recognises that it’s 14,500 staff, as well as providing high quality care and treatment services, are role models for healthy lifestyles and aims to set the highest standard possible for healthy eating for staff and non-patient food.
Making the healthy choice the easy choice
Catering, Procurement, Clinical and Public Health Dietetics and the Public Health Team formed a partnership to develop and implement a Healthy Retail Policy. The policy requires their outlets (restaurants, cafes and retail outlets) to ensure the healthy choice is the easy choice, through compliance with specific criteria. One key criteria is that every restaurant and retail outlet has a minimum of 75% of the food and drink sold to be a healthier option. Healthy is defined based on a combination of the Eatwell Guide, the Food Standards Agency traffic light system and Welsh Government Health Promoting Hospital Vending Guidance.
Freshly prepared food and refurbished restaurant
The restaurant at the main hospital in Cardiff (University Hospital of Wales) was refurbished and re-launched as Y Gegin (Welsh for ‘The Kitchen’) in October 2016, and takes it back to basics of cooking, preparing food fresh on site.
Increasing availability and consumption of fruit and vegetables
Through the Peas Please veg pledge the UHB have also committed to increase the intake of fresh vegetables in restaurants and cafes by:
- Stir Fry pasta dishes are cooked fresh in front of the customer and incorporate up to eight fresh vegetables and spices in every stir fry and pasta dish.
- BBQ marinated meats go into artisan bread accompanied with a fresh rainbow salad
- Homemade sandwiches contain a minimum of three vegetables; tomato, lettuce and courgettes.
In September 2017, as part of their Veg Pledge, a fruit and vegetable stall was set up outside the main entrance to the University Hospital of Wales, and due to the success, another stall is now being trailed at the University Hospital Llandough.
The Partnership audits the restaurants, cafes and retail outlets bi-annually against the criteria. The latest audits show 77.5% of the food offer is healthy across the outlets, with Y Gegin achieving 85%. The sales figures are also astounding, projecting an annual profit after a long history of deficit. Income is re-invested back into patient care and services. Healthy food certainly sells!
See this short film for more information.