Hospital Caterers Association slams NHS Scotland contract catering ban

27 October 2008 by
Hospital Caterers Association slams NHS Scotland contract catering ban

The Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) has dismissed last week's ban on contract caterers by NHS Scotland as political posturing that "doesn't stand up" to scrutiny.

David Williamson, national treasurer for the HCA and support services manager for NHS Fife, said cleaning frequency and catering standards, not who was providing them, were the important factors in running a successful service.

"There is no substance to the statement made by ministers] that if you take catering in house or cleaning that you'll have fewer super-bugs," said Williamson. "It sounds great as a soundbite but it doesn't stand up."

Williamson said super-bug incidence rates within Scotland's NHS were already in decline and the number of contracts going out to private contractors had reduced in recent years as hospital boards went through best value assessments at the tendering stage.

The HCA's criticism of the move followed a claim from the Business Services Association that the decision will put thousands of jobs at risk.

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By Chris Druce

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