Blackpool Victoria Hospital is to cut the number of sugary drinks it sells

Blackpool Victoria Hospital
Blackpool Victoria Hospital
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The number of sugary drinks being sold at Blackpool Victoria Hospital will be cut, health bosses there have pledged.

It comes as part of a national movement to tackle obesity – with healthier food and drink set to be offered to staff at the Whinney Heys Road hospital.

Tim Bennett (inset), who leads a ‘Healthy Workforce’ panel, said: “Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has recently agreed to reduce the sale of sugar sweetened beverages on NHS premises in line with NHS England guidance.

"The trust is committed to reducing the total volume of monthly sugar-sweetened beverage sales per NHS outlet, aiming for a target of 10 per cent or less of total volume of drinks sales and will be providing NHS England with quarterly self-reported data.

“The food outlets, outpatients shop and hospital catering facilities have also introduced measures to improve the availability and promotion of healthier foods which impacts on staff, visitors and patients, and supports the hospital to be a healthier workplace.”

Every NHS hospital – and all 227 trusts across England – have agreed to cut sales of sugary drinks on their premises as part of the move.

Growing numbers have signed up since NHS England introduced cash rewards for those that hit the target last year.

The latest data showed the proportion of drinks sold on NHS premises that contain added sugar has fallen for seven months in a row – to just 7.4 per cent in participating trusts by June this year.

Nearly 30 million teaspoons of sugar have now been removed from NHS canteens, shops and vending machines as a result.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England said: “Obesity and its associated dangers is a worrying challenge facing the NHS and so it is crucial, as we draw up a long term plan for the future of the NHS that we take action where we can to avoid a long list of preventable problems in the years ahead.”

Figures from 2016/17, contained in a report updating councillors on Blackpool’s Healthy Weight Strategy, show 25.7 per cent of reception-age children in the town are overweight or obese compared to 26.5 per cent the previous year.