Sugary drinks sales banned in hospitals

Hospitals in England will not be able to sell any sugar-sweetened beverages under new rules published this month.

A clause in the “standard contract” for hospitals bans the sale of the drinks from July this year, according to the campaign group Sustain.

The changes will also have an impact on retailers operating on site. Hospitals must also “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”.

Currently, 141 of 232 NHS Trusts have signed up to a voluntary scheme to reduce sales of sugary drinks to 10% or less of all drinks. Some have gone further and introduced bans.

Retailers including WH Smith, Marks & Spencer and Greggs have also signed up. The scheme includes hot drinks with added sugar syrups.

Hospitals that don’t fall into line will have sugary drink bans forced upon them, NHS England confirmed.

However, Footprint understands that if enough retailers bring down their sugary drinks sales to below 10% of all drinks the ban will be removed from the contract.

From April, hospitals will also receive financial incentives for stocking fewer unhealthy products. They have also been ordered to remove super-sized bars and bags from shelves.

This week, Tameside hospital in Manchester reportedly became the first in Britain to remove all added sugar from the meals prepared in its restaurants. Fizzy drinks and sugary snacks have also been removed from the canteen.

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