Hospital vending: does it always have to be the bad guy?

Joe Harvey is a consultant for the Health Education Trust. With a health education management and teaching background that spans 25 years, his expertise and membership has influenced health education and policy change on both a European and international platform.

“We all know from personal experience that food services in hospitals do not always offer the very best of examples of healthy eating.

Yet vended food and drinks play a significant role in supplying food and drink to staff and visitors, particularly for staff working overnight when all other food outlets on the site are closed. In a powerful piece on the direction NHS Trusts should take in the provision of food services, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens argued patients and staff always need to be offered healthy options in vending machines on site, which should also actively promote healthier options through targeted promotions.

The Soil Association’s ‘Food for Life Hospital Leaders’ program is at the stage of supporting the writing of procurement tenders for several Trusts where old contracts are falling due. We would welcome the support of the vending and catering industry to help us find solutions to the challenges and opportunities this changing scene offers. Together, we believe we can develop a new and sustainable marketplace where vending is closely linked into the delivery of a healthy food and drinks service in all our hospitals.”

Read the full article in the March issue of Vending International here!