latest health care news

29.04.19

NHS told to reduce spending on breakfast meals through £420k savings initiative

The government has urged the NHS to reduce the amount of money it spends on food and drink, with a new initiative set to save £420,000 a year on breakfast products alone.

By utilising the NHS Supply Chain and buying in bulk, health minister Stephen Hammond has claimed that hospital trusts could cut their costs by a third through better deals on breakfast items.

It said that some hospital trusts are paying inflated prices to suppliers for breakfast items such as tea, coffee, baked beans and juice, with some paying 40% more than a neighbouring trust.

The Breakfast Savings Initiative, which currently has 19 participating trusts, is part of a drive to save £2.4bn by ending the variation in prices paid by different hospitals for products and equipment.

Stephen Hammond, minister for health, said: “The NHS serves up thousands of delicious breakfasts every day – but pays wildly different amounts for simple things like beans, tea and jam.

“By signing up to this deal, hospitals could save thousands of pounds every year that can help us improve services through our NHS Long-Term plan.”

Hammond wants branded items swapped for like-for-like products which offer better value, and he wants all hospitals to sign up to the scheme.

The Breakfast Savings Initiative, which 19 trusts participate in, is part of a drive to save £2.4bn. The scheme aims to end variation in the prices that different hospitals pay and to facilitate the swapping of items with like-for-like products.

The government said any changes made to foods brought by a hospital or clinic will be vetted using culinary and dietary experts to ensure no taste or nutritional value is lost.

Rona Miranda, of the NHS food supply chain, said: “The health and wellbeing of patients is our top priority and we work hard to source nutritious food at the most competitive prices.

“The objective is to remove any variation in product pricing across the NHS estate by leveraging the collective buying power of the NHS. In turn, trusts will receive clinically assured, quality products at the best possible price.”

Image credit - Rawpixel

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