A doctors’ surgery in the UK is selling apples, oranges and bananas to its patients, staff and to local residents, in a bid to promote healthy eating.

The Margaret Thompson Medical Centre in Speke, Liverpool, is selling 150 pieces of fruit per week at the cost price of 10p (US$0.16) each, helped by a grant from Merseyside Health Action Zone.

The surgery set up the scheme following the launch of the five-a-day initiative to encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables.

Practice manager Lesley Eccleston told BBC Online: “Very few shops in the area sell fresh fruit, so this service is proving to be a boon for patients, staff and the community in general.

“We are even finding that young mothers are rewarding children who attend our clinics with fruit, rather than with sweets.”

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Dr Kate Arden, director of public health at the South Liverpool Primary Care Trust, which is supporting the scheme, said: “This is a fantastic initiative to encourage a healthy approach to diet and we are delighted to be associated with it.”