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Royal Voluntary Service first to achieve healthcare retail standard

18 August 2016 by
Royal Voluntary Service first to achieve healthcare retail standard

Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), the older people's charity, has become the first hospital retailer to achieve the Scottish Grocers Federation's Healthcare Retail Standard (HRS).

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 healthy and nutritious food they offer hospital staff, visitors and patients.

The RVS café at West Glasgow has already been awarded the NHS Health Scotland Healthyliving Plus Award.

HRS was introduced in September 2015 and becomes mandatory in spring 2017. It is part of the Scottish government's health promotion framework for healthcare buildings.

The criteria for the standard applies to all retail outlets (including trolley services) in healthcare buildings in Scotland, whether the outlet or hospital is run by the voluntary, private or public sector.

RVS manages more than 500 hospital shops, cafés and trolley services in England, Scotland and Wales.

The charity has taken an early lead on the NHS workforce health agenda by implementing Healthy Choices, a programme to transform its entire UK retail estate into hubs for healthy eating.

Research conducted by RVS earlier this year found 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.

Kate Bull, executive director of retail for Royal Voluntary Service, said: "Workforce health and well-being 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."

John Drummond, account manager for the Scottish Grocers Federation's Healthy Living Programme, added: "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 have already reached the targeted levels, well ahead of the required date, reflects their commitment to the concept of offering healthier choices across their range."

Formerly known as the Women's Voluntary Service, RVS has been helping people in Britain for 75 years. It played a crucial role during the Second World War, delivering meals to the aged and infirm. Run by 13,000 trained volunteers and staff, RVS retail services fund the charity's work supporting vulnerable older people in hospitals, their homes and in the community.

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