Stay healthy with free H2O on tap

WSLHD Population health deputy director Christine Newman, CIVIQ business development manager Brittany Thompson,
Afreen, Baaz Randhawa with mother Reema Randhawa and Westmead operations manager Luke Felicetti cut the ribbon at the water station.

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), CIVIQ and Sydney Water are urging patients, visitors and staff to swap sugary drinks for fresh free drinking water when they visit Westmead Hospital.

The fresh H2O is on tap at a water new refill station located at the hospital’s main entrance.

WSLHD Centre for Population Health Deputy Director Christine Newman said this concept has been derived from the completion of the “Rethink You Drink”.

“Our staff have told us they want more access to fresh drinking water,” Ms Newman said.

“We are health leaders and educators so our community, patients and visitors expect us to lead by example.

Westmead Cancer Care Centre is promoting going alcohol free during Dry July to raise funds for people affected by cancer. As a mark of their support to promote tap water as the best drink for your health, the Centre is planning to install a water refill unit in their clinic waiting room.

“By swapping one 375ml can of soft drink per day to water – in one month you can save more than $150 and reduce your energy consumption by 37800 kilojoules and lose one kilogram of body weight,” Ms Newman said.

“The refill stations are designed to refill bottles rather than dispense water like a bubbler.

“Other benefits are not only providing free, fresh and safe drinking water but also to reduce landfill and help the environment by encouraging people to use refillable water bottles.”

CIVIQ business development manager Brittany Thompson said the refill stations automatically calculate the number of people refilling their bottles.

“We can then assess their popularity and look to install them at other facilities,” Ms Thompson said.

To mark the occasion, members of the Westmead Hospital redevelopment team handed our free drink bottles to patients, visitors and staff.

Sydney Water brand and external communications manager Jennifer Whittle said they have some of the best drinking water in the world straight from the tap.

“Tap water also contains fluoride which protects against tooth decay,” Ms Whittle said.

“Sydney Water is delighted to support Westmead Hospital employees, visitors and staff switching to healthier refreshments like tap water for free.”

This initiative is part of the NSW Health Healthy Food and Drink in NSW Health Facilities for Staff and Visitors Framework which promotes healthy food and drink choices to help tackle issues such as obesity.

Crown Princess Mary Cancer Services staff Robert Khoury and Jasmine Manes with water ambassadors and siblings Afreen, Inayat and Baaz Randhawa.