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20
Jul

East Lancashire Hospitals takes steps towards healthier staff and visitor catering


East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has become the first NHS facility to order Boka Food’s all green traffic light cereal bars. The Boka bars have gone on sale in staff and visitor restaurants and in vending machines across all five Trust hospitals.  In particular they are sited at checkouts as a healthy choice impulse purchase.

The move is part of the Trust’s commitment to the recently launched NHS staff health and wellbeing CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation) which is intended to improve health of NHS staff, visitors and patients, with a specific retail focus. Among the specific requirements of the CQUIN is the banning of high fat, sugar and salt content foods from checkouts and a commitment to ensuring healthy options are available at any point including for those staff working night shifts. 

Tim Radcliff, Catering Manager for the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, says:  “We were really excited to find the Boka bar. As part of the CQUIN process we removed all confectionery from our checkouts and were then only able to offer fresh fruit. Now we can offer a satisfying, great tasting healthy option cereal bar to our staff and visitors too and still meet the requirements of CQUIN.”
The Trust is selling all three flavours of the bars - apple & cinnamon, caramel and strawberry;s each 30g bar contains a quarter of the recommended daily allowance of fibre,  is below 100 calories and costs 70p.

Food and drink distributor DDC Foods has been appointed by Boka Food to service the catering and vending industries.
Founder of Boka Food, food development specialist Franco Beer, says: “We want people to eat our bars because they enjoy them first and foremost, with the added bonus that they are healthier than the alternatives. We have invested a great deal of time and money developing our low sugar, fat and salt recipes so we’re delighted that East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust have taken on our product so enthusiastically, it endorses all our hard work.” 

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has recently appointed a nutritional adviser to assist with the CQUIN programme and is also working towards the Soil Association’s Catering Mark. Radcliff says: “Our vision is for the Trust to become a truly health-promoting setting through food and drink. We aim to meet nutrition needs for patients and have healthier eating in general for the whole hospital community. One of our strategy principles is to provide high quality, healthy and safe food for patients, visitors and staff throughout all food outlets and services including vending and snacking.”

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