First NHS-run shop opens at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary


Profits from Aroma convenience store will be reinvested in frontline care

The first NHS-run shop opened last week at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI).

Pioneered by Health Facilities Scotland, the new Aroma convenience store will be managed and operated by the NHS Grampian facilities team, with all profits reinvested in frontline patient care initiatives.

The store, the result of a partnership between Health Facilities Scotland and grocery group, SimplyFresh, is an extension of the popular Aroma cafe in the foyer of ARI’s Emergency Department.

Health Facilities Scotland’s assistant director, John Wright, said: “We are delighted to pioneer the latest development in the Health Facilities Scotland Aroma portfolio and have partnered with SimplyFresh to deliver what we think will bring an exciting new look to NHS retail services and provide many more-healthier food options for patients, visitors and staff.”

Aroma Convenience by SimplyFresh will operate seven days a week and will add to the 24 Aroma cafes across NHS Scotland, five in NHS Wales, and two at NHS Pennine. The concept was developed with award-winning food and drink consultants, Ross & Brown.

The convenience store has been designed to follow the Scottish Government Healthcare Retail Standard, with at least 50% of food produce and 70% of drinks meeting the salt, fat and sugar content guidelines.

Kash Khera, managing director of SimplyFresh said: “Our ethos is all about healthy eating and best-of-British products, so we’re delighted to be part of this pilot project. We now have more than 86 stores within the SimplyFresh stable and this trial is a great way of introducing Scottish customers to the brand.”

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Simon Ross, managing director at Ross & Brown, added: “The SimplyFresh brand offers us the perfect operating model and reflects the healthy eating ethos we are trying to promote. The team has done a fantastic job developing a basket that reflects the strict requirements set out by the new directive.”