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HRH The Prince of Wales praises Royal Brompton

Prince Charles visits Royal Brompton Hospital



5 February 2008



HRH The Prince of  Wales praised Royal Brompton Hospital’s commitment to providing patients and staff with top quality food today, as he attended a seminar organised by the Soil Association. The Prince told delegates that he firmly believed  that we are what we eat and expressed his view that the right nutrition can have a dramatic effect on health and well-being.


Twenty delegates from across the NHS joined the debate on hospital food held at Royal Brompton’s headquarters in Chelsea, London. The hospital was chosen due to the high quality of food served to patients and staff, for its commitment to procuring 20 per cent of food either locally or from organic sources, and for its support for local farmers and suppliers.


Prince Charles with RBH catering staff

The Prince reminded delegates that he first became involved in work to increase the amount of locally sourced and organic food served in NHS hospitals four years ago. In his speech HRH stressed the importance of high quality food for patients that helped rather than hindered their recovery.


HRH also visited the hospital’s kitchens where he met catering staff to hear how meals are prepared and served. Chef de partie Philippe Cesar described how he prepares fresh soups every day for patients and staff, and head chef Richard Fontaine explained how all meals are prepared on the premises, many from locally sourced and organic ingredients.


Mary Madigan and Mario Petrou meet Prince Charles

The Prince visited patients on one of the hospital’s surgical wards to find out how good food could impact on the recovery process. Patients rate Royal Brompton’s highly, and the patients who met HRH voiced their satisfaction with the meals which had been served.


On leaving the hospital HRH paid tribute to Royal Brompton’s catering manager Mike Duckett and expressed his hope that delegates would leave the event with renewed enthusiasm.


Commenting on the visit, Lord Newton of Braintree, Chairman of the Trust, said: “We felt privileged to welcome His Royal Highness here today. We are rightfully proud of our catering services and The Prince's support is a great morale boost to all staff.”


Bob Bell, chief executive of Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust, added: “Patients and staff benefit each day from our commitment to providing good quality, fresh food but the real success today has been the enthusiasm which is clearly evident among other NHS organisations, to follow our example. We know it can be done and are keen to help colleagues from around the country in whatever way we can.”


Prince Charles visits Royal Brompton Hospital



Some comments from the event


"It was great to have the hard work of the whole catering team at RBH recognised in this way and to have the chance to discuss the importance of good food with The Prince and with NHS colleagues. It was a really enjoyable event."

Mike Duckett, catering manager at Royal Brompton Hospital


"The Prince was very approachable and at ease with the patients. I spoke to him about how we had piloted a lot of new interventions with food, including the use of red trays for patients who need help with eating".

Mary Madigan, sister on Elizabeth Ward


"He was a real Prince Charming. He asked me about the food and said I looked well for someone who had surgery recently. He also asked me about what I was reading – he was very open and asked lots of questions."

Glynis Becker, patient on Elizabeth Ward


"He was very spontaneous. He wasn't scheduled to meet me but he came across and chatted and was very friendly and approachable. He asked me if I was up and moving and I said that over here they get us moving the day after surgery."

Kathryn Yates, patient on Elizabeth Ward


“This is the best hospital food you can get – a guiding light and, I hope, the start of a wave of change across the NHS.”

Lord Peter Melchett, Policy Director of the Soil Association


More photos from the Royal visit

Royal Brompton

Sydney Street,
London SW3 6NP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7352 8121