South West Hospital and Health Service facilities will be entirely free of sugary and other unhealthy drinks by June and according to South West HHS Chief Executive Linda Patat , that’s a very good thing.
“As health service providers, it is up to us to show the way forward to a healthier future by example.”
Ms Patat says the health service had been at the forefront of developing a framework to oversee the implementation of Queensland Health’s “Healthier drinks at healthcare facilities Best Practice Guide”.
“This work, which started in January 2017, has since been shared with other hospital and health services. The drinks guide aims to provide a healthier range of options for patients, visitors and staff at Queensland Health facilities.’’
“Within the South West HHS, we have vending machines at Roma, Mitchell, St George and Charleville hospitals and an in-hospital café/canteen at Roma. In line with the best practice guide, our drink vending machines at Roma and Mitchell now offer only sugar-free drinks or water.’’
“We expect that the St George and Charleville vending machines will be in a similar situation before June. “The Roma Hospital canteen also now offers only healthy drink options following the removal of more than 20 previously available less healthy product lines.”
“This required a major change in focus at the canteen and I congratulate both the staff of the canteen and our healthier choices project team for the sterling work they have done.’’
Ms Patat says the changes, both at the Roma Hospital canteen and health facility vending machines, were intended to promote a healthier choice for patients, visitors and staff, as well as offering an example to the broader community.
“To complement this work, the South West HHS last year also rolled out new, nutritionally rich and appetising standardised menus to all inpatient and aged care health facilities across the South West.’’
“All the menu items meet the latest high nutritional and dietary standards and – just as importantly – are appetising for consumers”