Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Food for life: Evaluation of the impact of the Hospital Food Programme in England using a case study approach

Gray, Selena; Orme, Judy; Pitt, Hannah; Jones, Matthew


Judy Orme
Professor/Ins Director ISHE

Hannah Pitt

Matthew Jones


To evaluate the impact and challenges of implementing a Food for Life approach within three pilot NHS sites in 2014/2015 in England. Food for Life is an initiative led by the Soil Association, a non-governmental organisation in the UK that aims to encourage a healthy, sustainable food culture across communities.

A case-study approach was undertaken using semi-structured interviews with staff and key stakeholders together with analysis of relevant documents such as meeting minutes, strategic plans and reports.

Three NHS Trusts in England.

Staff and key stakeholders.

Main outcome measures
Synthesis of key findings from semi-structured interviews and analysis of relevant documents.

Key themes included the potential to influence contracting processes; measuring quality; food for staff and visitors; the role of food in hospitals, and longer term sustainability and impact. Participants reported that adopting the Food for Life approach had provided enormous scope to improve the quality of food in hospital settings and had provided levers and external benchmarks for use in contracting to help drive up standards of the food provided by external contractors for patients and staff. This was demonstrated by the achievement of an FFLCM for staff and visitor catering in all three organisations.

Participants all felt that the importance of food in hospitals is not always recognised. Engagement with Food for Life can produce a significant change in the focus on food within hospitals, and help to improve the quality of food and mealtime experience for staff, visitors and patients.


Gray, S., Orme, J., Pitt, H., & Jones, M. (2017). Food for life: Evaluation of the impact of the Hospital Food Programme in England using a case study approach. JRSM Open, 8(10), 205427041771270.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 4, 2017
Online Publication Date Oct 4, 2017
Publication Date Oct 1, 2017
Journal JRSM Open
Publisher SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 10
Pages 205427041771270
Keywords health promotion, non-clinical, public health
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations