News

04.04.18

Third of NHS trusts facing ban of sugary drinks due to failure to comply

Simon Stevens has once again threatened an outright ban on sugary beverages as new figures revealed a third of NHS trusts have failed to sign up to the government’s new scheme, which is aimed at cracking down on unhealthy food and drink in hospitals.

Figures released today show that 80 of 232 trusts have not yet signed up to NHS England’s initiative, designed to “battle against the bulge” by cutting down the sales of sugary snacks and drinks – SSBs, or sugar-sweetened beverages – in light of the looming ‘sugar tax.’

They are now at risk of facing an outright ban later this year if they do not comply.

Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, said: “We now know that obesity causes 13 different types of cancer as well as heart attacks and strokes, so the NHS has needed to get its own house in order on the epidemic of flab.

“Once the Easter eggs are gone, the NHS will be getting on with ensuring our hospitals and their retailers are offering healthier food and drinks for patients, relatives and staff.”

But today’s figures have not been wholly negative, with statistics already indicating that staff, patients and their friends and family have consumed 632 million fewer calories over the last year as a result of action on curbing the sale of chocolate and unhealthy sandwiches.

It follows from NHS England’s decision last year to order hospitals to remove super-sized chocolate bars and ‘grab bags’ of sugary snacks from shelves. Dividends so far include a large hospital retailer removing advertising and promotions on NHS estates and selling 1.1 million fewer single chocolate bars, as well as removing 275,000 (23%) large bars of chocolate.

The initiative is also reportedly pushing people towards healthier eating habits, with an additional 175,000 pieces of fruit sold in hospital stores over the past year. The Royal Voluntary Service has also worked with suppliers to make healthier sandwiches, which now account for more than half of the total sales.

Similarly, major retailers such as WH Smith and M&S are running a healthy meal deal exclusively in hospitals, featuring no sandwiches over 400 calories and no unhealthy snacks on offer.

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, national clinical director for diabetes and obesity at NHS England, said: “We have been clear that the growing obesity crisis sweeping the country is a public health crisis and the evidence backs it up. Obesity is associated with heart attacks, cancer, Type 2 diabetes and a number of other illnesses – causing personal suffering and costing the health service and in turn the taxpayer, billions every year.

“And for all of those conditions, wherever possible, prevention is preferable to cure. Our own sugar restrictions, the new sugar tax and the NHS diabetes prevention programme are all part of what needs to be a concerted effort to address obesity.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News

comment

The Hospital Energy Project

19/09/2018The Hospital Energy Project

The Hospital Energy Project is an ambitious engineering scheme to replace o... more >
Social media's role in health

19/09/2018Social media's role in health

Social media has a massive role to play in health – infection prevent... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >

interviews

Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Lord Darzi: Seize the opportunity

19/09/2018Lord Darzi: Seize the opportunity

Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham is the Paul Hamlyn chair of surgery at Imperial College, a surgeon working in the NHS and, from 2007-09, was health minister under Labour. H... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar

back

September 2018

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

featured articles

View all News