NHS Trusts must be more hard headed with contract caterers

09 March 2007 by
NHS Trusts must be more hard headed with contract caterers

NHS Trusts must be more "hard headed" in their negotiations with contract caterers, an influential group of MPs has urged.

In a report on food procurement in the public sector, the Public Accounts Committee said that contract caterers could be earning as much as £95m from volume discount and year-end rebate payments from their suppliers based on the volume of their public sector business, but there is limited awareness of this issue amongst public procurers.

"For too long the food served in public sector institutions has been institutionalised food," said Edward Leigh, chairman of the public accounts committee.

"Negotiations with major contract caterers should be much more hard-headed, especially over the hidden rebates and discounts which those caterers can achieve but too often fail to pass on to the public sector."

The report also warns that "significant deficiencies" in frontline catering skills have to be addressed if patients are to enjoy healthier meals.

It says catering staff often lack the skills to receive and store food efficiently or prepare meals that get the most from the available ingredients.

A commercially experienced on-site chef or manager can realise significant savings, the report argues.

These savings can be achieved by introducing rigorous goods-receivable checks and redesigning menus to increase nutritional quality while balancing more with less expensive dishes to minimise the risk of loss and reduce waste.

Survey of patients pans hospital food >>

Hospital caterers put patients first >>

Where next for hospital food as BHF is scrapped? >>

Inside Contract Catering: Hospital food purchasing >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas](mailto:daniel.thomas@rbi.co.uk?subject=NHS Trusts must be more hard headed with contracts caterers) here.

[The Caterer Blog](http://www.caterersearch.com/blogs/catering-news-blog/) Catch up with more news and gossip on the Caterer Blog here
[Newswire For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail news alerts.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking