The price of sugary food and drink will be raised on all NHS properties Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England has announced.
Speaking to the Guardian, Mr Stevens said that ‘because of the role that the NHS occupies in national life, all of us working in the NHS have a responsibility not just to support those who look after patients but also to draw attention to and make the case for some of the wider changes that will actually improve the health of this country.’ The decision will see prices rise in all health centres, general practices and hospitals in England.
He mentioned that the tax on these goods would reap between £20 and £40 million, which may be used to improve the health of NHS staff. The announcement has been treated as a step in the right direction, with the NHS becoming the first public organisation to make the move.
‘The NHS is taking a brave and much-needed step by introducing its own tax on sugary drinks and snacks in hospitals across England to encourage healthier lifestyles,’ said Louise Ansari, director of prevention of Type 2 diabetes at Diabetes UK. ‘Many people consume far too much sugar, often unaware of the ‘added sugars’ in food and drink. An increasing number of people are becoming overweight, and this in turn is fuelling a dramatic rise in Type 2 diabetes, a serious health condition that can lead to complications including amputations, blindness and stroke and costs the NHS a staggering £10 billion a year.’