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Kitchen on Prescription – Bringing healthy eating to mainstream healthcare in Healthy City Week


Portland_Centre_Main_Logo_colourThe aim of Kitchen on Prescription is to create a ‘socially prescribed’ healthcare intervention that enables healthcare professionals to refer people with a Long Term Condition to a motivational healthy eating cooking course.

Throughout 2015 the Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine has been collaborating with a variety of Community Food Education professionals and organisations in the coordination of the Kitchen on Prescription project, with significant support from Bristol Green Capital. This project has involved a wide variety of activities including the development of an academic Feasibility Study in collaboration with the University of Bristol, private and public events during Bristol Food Connections and Eat Drink Bristol Fashion in May, and the delivery of a pilot cooking course in Southmead.

kitchen on prescription demo from twitter feedWe are delighted to be hosting events during Healthy City Week, providing professionals and members of the public interested in how food affects our health with the opportunity to learn more about the initiative, and to share views on how it can best be rolled out across the city.

The event will include presentations from Bristol’s cooking education providers, cooking lesson demonstrations, and two roundtable discussions including key experts in the area of healthy eating and behaviour change.

Attend Kitchen on Prescription events in Healthy City Week:

6.45pm – 9.00pm Thursday 15th October 2015: Creating a Natural Health Service – Lecture with Dr William Bird

2.00pm – 6.00pm Friday 16th October 2015: Integrative Medicine approaches for a healthy heart – a seminar for health professionals 

11.30am – 1.30pm Monday 12th & Thursday 15th October 2015: Kitchen on Prescription: Healthy eating cookery demonstrations 

For more information, contact the Project Lead, Helen Cooke, on

About Kitchen on Prescription

A healthy diet plays a key role in treating chronic illness, however a variety of factors – including the growing reliance on processed food – is preventing people of all social backgrounds from following the healthy eating advice available to them. One such challenge is weak cooking skills and the need for greater practical knowledge about how to eat healthily on a budget.

A health system under pressure – a move towards ‘Self-Care’ can reduce the load

The NHS faces serious challenges ahead: people are living longer, however chronic health conditions such as diabetes and obesity are on the rise. In England 15 million have one or more long-term conditions, predicted to rise to 20 million by 2020. The pressure this is having on the health system is immense – people with long-term conditions take up 50% of all GP appointments and 70% of inpatient bed days, and account for 70% of the primary and acute care budget in England.A healthy diet can play a key role in both helping to prevent and enabling people to live well with these conditions, but it gets very little attention by most healthcare professionals.

KitchenPres-5In light of these figures, we need to rethink how these long-term conditions are treated. One approach being advocated by the Kings Fund is a focus on ‘Self Care’ or self-management approaches that aim to empower patients to improve their health through their own actions.

In response to this challenge, a group of medical, nutritional and culinary professionals across Bristol are working together to bring cookery education into mainstream healthcare. The initiative is called ‘Kitchen on Prescription’ (KOP) – a concept pioneered in Bristol by several forward-thinking community and health centres. KOP enables GPs to refer patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and obesity to a local healthy eating cooking course. A team of nutritional, culinary and psychological experts is carefully developing the course – with a strong focus on achieving long-lasting behavioural change.

Building on Bristol’s expertise in Community Food Education

The Kitchen on Prescription model has been developed and delivered over several years in several centres across Bristol – with similar initiatives being delivered in particular in Wellspring Health Centre in Barton Hill, Hartcliffe Health & Environment Action Group (HHEAG) in Hartcliffe and Knowle West Health Association in Knowle West.

Plan for 2015

Kitchen on Prescription Demonstration

Kitchen on Prescription Demonstration

The Kitchen on Prescription model of healthcare intervention is being expanded across Bristol during this EU Green Capital year, coordinated by the Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine (PCIM), which received Green Capital Strategic Grant funding for the project. The project team is gathering feedback and input from Bristol’s GP community and potential course participants – research which will inform the design and delivery of pilot KOP courses in different parts of the city throughout the year. The project is supported by many partners including the University of Bristol, the medical community, nutritional and cookery education experts, corporates such as Pukka Herbs and Public Health and CCG representatives – and it is this strong collaboration which bodes well for the project’s success in 2015.

Some excerpts in this article are from May – June Bristol Food Network Newsletter

Healthy City Week logo FINAL PNGHealthy City Week Bristol is a new initiative which aims to inspire citizens of Bristol to achieve healthier lifestyles as part of a more sustainable future city. It is delivered by the Bristol Green Capital Partnership with the support of Bristol Health Partners, in collaboration with partners at University of Bristol and University Hospitals BristolFind out more here.

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