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Healthier Choices project

Project Status: 

Healthcare facilities play an important role in promoting the health and wellbeing of patients, staff and visitors. Metro South Health is committed to providing nourishing food choices at all facilities.

The Metro South Health Board has supported a project funded by the Preventative Health Unit to develop a strategy for better access to healthier choices of food and drinks at Metro South facilities

A Metro South Health working group has been formed with membership including staff from Food Services, Nutrition and Dietetics, Nursing, Planetree, Health Equity and Access unit, Media and Communications, Addiction and Mental Health Services, oral health and procurement

The working group have used survey information collected from the recent visitor and staff consultation and from visitor focus groups to develop a range of solutions for providing quick, affordable and delicious healthier choices of foods and beverages.

Aims & Goals: 
1. To increase health beverages on display to 80% of total beverages on display. 2. To decrease sugar sweetened beverages on display to 20% of total beverages on display.
Evaluation/outcomes: 
Patients, visitors, carers and staff will now find it easier to choose healthier drinks at Metro South Health operated retail outlets. Drinks are now categorised as: Healthy = Green OK = Amber Less Healthy = Red choices. These categories were developed in conjunction with our visitors through a survey and focus group. The drinks on display, for sale, are now healthier. All Metro South Health operated outlets have 80% healthier drinks and only 20% of the less healthy options. Metro South Health listened to the feedback from our staff and visitors requesting choice! Visitors and staff have also asked for more information to help make a healthy choice. The project team have developed pamphlets, posters and table talkers to provide easy to understand point of sale information to clearly label which drinks are the healthier options. Visitors and staff were also keen to increase access to healthy choices for all of the operating hours of the facility. The staff and visitor surveys, completed by Metro South Health, indicated key themes of access and availability of healthy food and drinks for all of the opening hours of a facility. Each of the four main hospitals have worked to increase access, including: - healthy items in vending machines at PAH, QEII and Logan Hospitals - go2 zone water refill station at Logan Hospital - trial of extended operating hours (evenings and weekends) at Coochie Café at Redland Hospital and, - QEII now have eftpos capability at the Lets Latte coffee cart. Performance has been a key measure for the project. The project aim was to have no negative impact on revenue. Sales data for the end of 2017 indicates the project has had no negative impact and some sites report an improvement in revenue indicating the project has met the needs of our staff and visitors. The next steps for the project are to categorise all of the snack foods for sale in Metro South Health operated venues and vending machines as Green, Amber and Red. The aim will be to increase the Green and Amber items to 80% of the vending items and decrease the red items to 20%. The project team will also complete a post implementation survey to evaluate the project. Please contact the project officer if you would like more information on this project or to provide any feedback on the foods and drinks for sale in Metro South.
Lead Service / Stream: 
Images: 
Keywords: 
Healthier food and drinks, hospital food choices
Last updated 18 November 2019