Representing estates and facilities professionals operating within the  



Royal Voluntary Service hospital shops are first to achieve healthcare retail standard

Royal Voluntary Service, the older people’s charity, is the first hospital retailer to achieve the Scottish Grocers Federation Healthcare Retail Standard (HRS), part of the Scottish Government’s health promotion framework for healthcare buildings.

The charity-run shops at West Glasgow Ambulatory Care Hospital at Yorkhill and Western General Hospital in Edinburgh have secured the standard in recognition of the wide range of healthy and nutritious food and drink options they offer hospital staff, visitors and patients. The Royal Voluntary Service café at West Glasgow has already been awarded the NHS Health Scotland Healthyliving Award at plus level.
Royal Voluntary Service is the biggest hospital retailer in England, Scotland and Wales and manages over 500 hospital shops, cafés and trolley services. The charity has taken an early lead on the NHS workforce health agenda by implementing Healthy Choices, an ambitious programme to transform its entire UK retail estate into hubs for healthy eating. The phased introduction of new Healthy Choices menus and options will be complete by March 2017 in Scotland, with a greater range of healthier options and space for crisps, confectionery and sugary drinks dramatically reduced.

Recent research by Royal Voluntary Service revealed that the majority of doctors and nurses working in hospitals regularly skip meals, snack and eat unhealthily.  Many blamed the lack of healthy options available where they work as a key reason for poor eating habits.

Run by 13,000 trained, caring volunteers and staff, Royal Voluntary Service retail services fund the charity’s work supporting vulnerable older people in hospitals, in their homes and in the community.
Kate Bull, Executive Director of Retail for Royal Voluntary Service, says: “Workforce health and wellbeing is a major NHS priority. As a responsible retailer and NHS partner, it’s important that we provide hospital staff and visitors with access to healthy food and drink options.  We’re delighted that West Glasgow and Western General are the first to achieve the Healthcare Retail Standard. They have set the bar for our entire retail estate.”  

Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell says: “It is a huge milestone to have our first Healthcare Retail Standard compliant store and I want to congratulate Royal Voluntary Service, SGF and all at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lothian for this achievement. As part of our Health Promoting Health Service programme, I now look for others to follow suit so that we can better support staff, visitors and patients to make healthier food choices in our hospitals.”

John Drummond, Account Manager for the Scottish Grocers Federation’s Healthy Living Programme, adds: “It was very encouraging and reassuring to find that Royal Voluntary Service at West Glasgow and Western General had passed the assessment for the Healthcare Retail Standard (HRS). The criteria for the HRS in the three major areas of food, soft drinks and promotions are quite demanding and to see that Royal Voluntary Service has already reached the targeted levels, well ahead of the required date, reflects its commitment to the concept of offering healthier choices across the range.”