Better hospital food campaign

We all know that patients in hospitals need food that is appealing and nutritious to properly aid their recovery.

But hard-working staff need appealing and nutritious food – and time and a place to eat it too – to keep them healthy and able to deal with their stressful and demanding jobs.

That’s why we want the government to make sure staff, as well as patients and visitors, have accesses to healthy and fairly priced meals, whatever the time of day or night.

As the trade union that represents the whole healthcare team, UNISON is now part of a strategy group being led by NHS Improvement, looking at developing national healthcare food standards. There is expected to be a public consultation and launch of the standards in early 2020.

UNISON’s priorities

As part of this food standards group UNISON is calling for:

  • access to healthy, nutritious and appealing food for all NHS staff, including those on night shifts
  • all food for staff, patients and visitors to be prepared in on-site kitchens, where possible, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients
  • food preparation facilities to be made available to staff who wish to bring their own meals from home
  • properly furnished and equipped meal break rooms for staff
  • free drinking water.

UNISON will be pushing for the standards that come out of this strategy group to be mandatory and enforceable and for trusts to be held accountable if they drop below these standards.

What you can do

To help us with our work on this food standards strategy group UNISON wants to hear from members about what facilities are like where they work. Lots of you took part in our recent survey about what things are like across the UK, but if you didn’t, you can still tell us what provision is like in your trust. Just email us here

You can also sign up to our Better Hospital Food mailing list to we can send you updates on what is happening and things you can do to help us in our campaign.