The first shop of its kind in the UK which only sells healthy and dietary-friendly options for staff, visitors and patients has opened at a hospital in Edinburgh.
The Revitalise shop opened at the Western General Hospital in the Scottish capital on Tuesday following research by the Royal Voluntary Service into dietary habits of hospital staff in Scotland.
Research found that two fifths of NHS doctors and nurses eat one or no pieces of fresh fruit or vegetables during a typical working day with 74% saying they would like to see healthier options introduced into hospitals where they work to improve their diets.
The shop will sell healthier products that meet strict nutritional criteria as well as those that meet particular dietary needs as well as gluten-free products and freshly-made juices.
This year, the Royal Voluntary Service became the first hospital retailer to achieve the Healthcare Retail Standard (HRS), part of the Scottish Government’s health promotion framework for healthcare buildings, covering both its new shop at Western General and the shop at West Glasgow Ambulatory Care Hospital, Yorkhill.
Kate Bull, executive director of retail for the Royal Voluntary Service, said: “As a hospital retailer we believe we have a responsibility to support the Government’s healthy eating drive by providing healthy choices that will encourage people to eat well.
“We are committed to offering healthier options across all of our retail shops, cafes and trolleys but understand that people often have specific dietary needs as well, especially patients who may have needs relating to their particular condition.
“Inspired by the Government guidelines, we’ve pushed the boundaries with Revitalise by introducing the first health-focused dietary shop in a hospital setting.
Aileen Campbell, minister for public health and sport, added: “I want to congratulate the Royal Voluntary Service and NHS Lothian on achieving the new Healthcare Retail Standard in two of their stores.
I know that it can be difficult for our hard-working nurses and doctors to eat well all the time.
“A healthy diet plays an important role in preventing many serious conditions so it’s vital that hospitals do everything they can to promote healthy choices.
“This standard sets tough restrictions on the food and drink that retailers in hospitals can provide and promote, helping patients, visitors and especially staff to make healthier decisions.”