By Shannon Bruce
THE NHS is considering banning sugary drinks from hospital vending machines and cafes… but some health workers are not happy with the plans.
NHS England linked the sale of fizzy drinks to heightened obesity rates affecting both staff and patients.
Sugary drinks are sold in vending machines located around most hospitals as well as included in multiple meal deals within hospital restaurants – making fizzy drinks easily accessible for visitors, patients and staff.
According to an estimate from NHS England, more than half of all health service employees are overweight or obese which bosses say affects their credibility when they are advising patients to lose weight.
However, some staff disagree.
Anna Mascol, a staff nurse at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, said: “In my opinion sugary drinks should not be banned in hospitals. They are the lifeline of the staff, it is not an option on such a busy unit.”
Many staff have raised the issue that fizzy drinks give them their final push to get them through a busy shift.
Jeanette Bruce, a regional burns nurse, added: “The staff on our ward barely have time to have a drink never mind banning them. I think banning fizzy drinks to staff would be a bad idea as I know many people who drink them for energy especially on such a busy ward as this one.”
But Julie Moxon, an administrator of the NHS stands by the idea of the ban. She said: “I think it is a good idea as long as there would be plenty of different healthy drinks available in their place.”
Andle Bloodworth, a regional general nurse at Pinderfields Hospital also backs this idea. She said: “I think it is a very good idea only low calorie drinks should be sold in hospitals to promote a healthy diet. There are plenty of shops outside hospitals that would sell sugary drinks instead.”
Chief executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens said: “Confronted by rising obesity, type 2 diabetes and child dental decay, it’s time for the NHS to practise what we preach.”
“By ploughing the proceeds of any vendor fees back into staff health and patient charities these proposals are a genuine win-win opportunity to both improve health and cut future illness cost burdens for the NHS.”
Discussions are yet to go forward on whether fizzy drinks will remain in hospital shops.