PERFORMANCE: Sussex Partnership FT was recognised by the Prince of Wales last week for its work to provide good local and nutritional food for people using its mental health services.  

The trust’s catering service manager, William McCartney, has pioneered sourcing local food, working with Sussex farmers and other suppliers at competitive prices. 

The programme ‘From Plough to Plate’, was featured in a major Soil Association report published earlier this year, which showcased examples of top-class NHS catering. 

The programme was among 14 recognised at a Clarence House reception hosted by the Prince of Wales highlighting the best of NHS catering.  

Sue Morris, executive director of corporate services, said: “To be recognised by HRH The Prince of Wales is a testament both to the value of the programme here at Sussex Partnership and to the importance of good food in our mental, as well as physical, wellbeing. 

“It is a great honour to be recognised by the Soil Association and asked to attend this royal event.” 

The Plough to Plate programme includes:

  • developing a market garden hub in partnership with a local farming family
  • sourcing most fruit and vegetables within Sussex including a wide range of seasonal fruit
  • using fruit and vegetables not acceptable to supermarkets, for example small apples that would otherwise have been thrown out are used at Chalkhill young people’s unit
  • a commitment to using English beef and lamb, and using South Downs lamb from a local abattoir wherever possible
  • yoghurts sourced from a Sussex supplier - at a lower cost than the previous NHS contract
  • using fish landed at Newhaven to develop a ‘South Coast’ fishcake
  • using gluten free products and halal meat as far as possible to cut the number of expensive ready meals that would otherwise be bought in from an outside supplier