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1,500 free meals to be distributed daily for NHS Lothian front line night shift staff

Hospitality provider BaxterStorey Scotland has teamed up with Royal Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, and NHS Lothian to provide and distribute nutritious meals to NHS night shift staff in hospitals across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

From this week, 1,500 free meals will be delivered each day to NHS Lothian night shift staff working on the front line. The free service will enable those working on COVID Red wards to access fresh and healthy meals when out-of-hours catering is not available.

BaxterStorey Scotland has joined the #FeedNHS campaign launched by Matt Lucas, Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory and John Vincent from LEON, and is replicating the model that was rolled out across hospitals in London, providing catering to NHS front line staff who are working around the clock in critical care units and are struggling to access nutritious food.

Meals, consisting of fresh salads and sandwiches, will be prepared in the Royal Bank of Scotland’s kitchens at its Gogarburn head offices by BaxterStorey Scotland, its catering contractor. The bank is providing catering facilities and catering staff, and is also paying for the distribution of the packed lunches to night shift staff working in the Western General Hospital, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, St John’s Hospital, East Lothian Community Hospital, West Lothian Community Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

Director of Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, Jane Ferguson, said: “This has truly been a team effort. I was delighted to see the logistics coming together from all parties to make this happen and am very grateful to the BaxterStorey Foundation and Royal Bank of Scotland for their incredible support.

“As the official charity partner of NHS Lothian, we have a key role to play in supporting staff wellbeing during these challenging times and an important part of this is ensuring the teams are well nourished and able to sustain the high energy levels required when working under huge pressure. The fact that hospital canteens have managed to stay open during the day has been great, but we now need to make sure that night shift staff have the same access to healthy meals during their shift. The next step for us is to install hot food vending machines across the main hospital sites which will be subsidised through our Covid-19 Rapid Response Fund.”

John Bennett, Co-Chief Executive at BaxterStorey Scotland, said: “It’s essential that front line NHS staff have access to fresh and nutritious meals, and we are honoured to be supporting hospitals across Edinburgh and the Lothians through the BaxterStorey Foundation.”

Simon McNamara, Chief Administrative Officer at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “It is a pleasure to be able to extend the use of our kitchen facilities at Gogarburn to feed some of the heroic NHS staff who are working throughout the night to care for their patients.

“This initiative is a great example of different organisations coming together to help support those working on the frontline. As a bank we have already turned part of our head office at Gogarburn into as a distribution centre to support Social Bite and the Trussell Trust foodbank charity.”

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