After pressure and encouragement from the Campaign for Better Hospital Food, and others, NHS England has put in place national targets to reduce the promotion of foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) in hospitals.
CQUINs: Introducing new national hospital food targets.
These targets are called the Health and Wellbeing CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation) and require hospitals to remove HFSS from price promotions, checkouts and till points and advertising and promotional materials across the whole hospital site.
This was brought about during a Better Hospital Food meal that was hosted by Prue Leith and attended by NHS England CEO Simon Stevens on the 19 January 2016. On the night the Campaign was able to pitch to Simon the idea of a national food CQUIN that would require hospitals to improve their healthy food offer.
We then submitted the Campaign for Better Hospital Food’s ten recommendations to improve hospital food to Simon Stevens the following day, at his request.
We are happy to announce that this month, in March 2016, NHS England has incorporated four out of ten of our recommendations to form a mandatory national food CQUIN for 2016-2017 for all hospitals in England.
CQUINs are mandatory targets for all NHS England hospitals and a percentage of a hospitals budget is withheld until they have reached the required standards. This is the first time these national targets have been used to drive up food standards, so this is a watershed moment for hospital food and a key win for the campaign! The CQUIN targets are a huge opportunity to set the NHS on a track towards creating a healthier hospital food environment.
Our strategy to maximise this potential for improvement has been to raise awareness across the industry that these new targets are in place, and to challenge retail brands and suppliers of hospital food to work to meet the targets and - in so doing - help the hospitals where they have a presence to meet full compliance.
Watch this space for our healthy hospital brand league table!
Published 31 Mar 2016
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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