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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Trust scoops prestigious Building Better Healthcare award for improving patients’ meals


Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) has won a Building Better Healthcare Award for its innovative approach to improving the choice and quality of food for patients.

Staff from the estates and facilities, dietetics, and occupational therapy departments received the Best Team Project Award during the ceremony at The Brewery in London on November 10.

Following recent stories highlighting poor nutrition in some the country’s NHS hospitals, the sterling work of our trust’s team to provide a more varied, seasonal – and sustainable – menu, based on patient feedback, at six sites across Birmingham and Solihull.

The project team, which includes modern matrons and service users, worked together to customise the food service to patients’ particular requirements.  This included offering a wider choice of meals with greater involvement from service users, larger portions, and a more sustainable, locally-sourced procurement process.

Since these changes were introduced, patients have embraced them, claiming they have improved morale and general wellbeing. Feedback from the six pilot sites was also positive, with food supplements now being given to patients at no extra cost from the provider.

Patricia Young, senior risk advisor for business development group Det Norske Veritas – and lead judge for the people category, chose BMHFT’s project as the winner as it “has made significant change for the better.”

“It is a very comprehensive approach, all the right people are involved and they seem to work well together. It is really innovative and has made a significant change for the better, both in terms of cost and in human terms,” said Patricia.

Other elements of the project include a new hospitality NVQ programme for service users at Reaside, in Rubery, and a new apprenticeship scheme, offered in partnership with the University of Birmingham.

Neil Hathaway, head of estates and facilities, said: “The project team were very keen that the patient experience was key to delivery of a successful initiative. Our award is recognition again of a dedicated service ensuring our clients receive excellent food throughout their recovery.

“The project team of catering staff, dieticians, dietetics and occupational therapists worked in a joined up approach and the successful outcome was the priority for our patients.’

Sue Turner, the trust’s chief executive, congratulated everyone involved in this award-winning initiative. She said:

“Winning this Building Better Healthcare award is fantastic news for all the hard work we have put into this initiative, both in terms of creating better menus and new opportunities for our patients.

“To get national recognition like this is the culmination of the team’s hard work in collaboration with our providers and academic partner, the University of Birmingham. We certainly have much to be proud of.”

The Building Better Healthcare Awards were established in 1998 to celebrate the people, projects and products that excelled in improving the healthcare environment. This year more than 200 entries were submitted for consideration for one of the 17 awards.

For more details about the awards and winners visit  http://awards.bbhealthcare.co.uk

BBH awards ceremony