News / Better Hospital Food

Sustain welcomes the NHS England ban on the sale of sugary drinks in hospitals

The NHS England ban on the sale of sugary drinks has been written into the updated Standard Contract for hospitals and the new rules will come into force later this year. Read Sustain's response.

Yesterday afternoon NHS England quietly banned the sale of sugar-sweetened drinks in hospitals. 

The new rules were released in a January 2018 updated Standard Contract for hospitals. A new clause in this contract bans the sale of sugar sweetened beverages from July 2018. A move that the Campaign for Better Hospital Food fully supports.

Katherine Button, Campaign for Better Hospital food Coordinator, said:

“We welcome this move by NHS England to ban the sale of sugary drinks in our hospitals. Tooth extraction as a result of tooth decay is the most common cause for hospitalisation of children under five – putting unnecessary pressure on stretched NHS services. This bold leadership from NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens is exactly what we need to tackle these big health challenges.”

Obesity and diet related disease is a huge issue facing the NHS. NHS England admits that around £16 billion a year is spent on the direct medical costs of diabetes and conditions related to being overweight or obese.This means that more taxpayers money is spent on treating obesity-related conditions than on the police or fire service. So we applaud NHS England taking decisive action to begin to turn this situation around.

However, two trusts have kept one step ahead of NHS England when it comes to sugary drinks. Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust banned the sale of sugary drinks two years ago. And, in January 2017, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust went 100% non-sugar sweetened for all beverages in their seven Cafes, two shops and multiple vending machines across their various sites.


Reported by the Telegraph online: 


Here is the full text of new clause banning sales of sugar-sweetened drinks in hospitals:

19.4 With effect from 1 July 2018, ...[the hospital] must not itself sell or offer for sale any Sugar-Sweetened Beverage at ...[the hospital’s] Premises.

19.5 ...[The hospital] must use all reasonable endeavours to ensure that, with effect from 1 July 2018, its tenants, sub-tenants, licensees, contractors, concessionaires and agents do not sell or offer for sale any Sugar-Sweetened Beverage at the Provider’s Premises.

19.6 ...[The hospital] must make it a condition of any relevant lease, licence, contract or concession agreement taking effect or varied on or after 1 July 2018 that the tenant (and any sub-tenant), licensee, contractor or concessionaire does not sell or offer for sale any Sugar-Sweetened Beverage at the Provider’s Premises on or after 1 July 2018


Link to Standard contract document:  

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Published 4 Jan 2018

Better Hospital Food: The campaign represents a coalition of organisations calling on the Westminster government to introduce mandatory nutritional, environmental and ethical standards for food served to patients in NHS hospitals in England.

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