NHS England set to impose sugar tax in hospital cafes

NHS England set to impose sugar tax in hospital cafes

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens has proposed a 20 per cent tax on all sugary drinks and foods in NHS cafes by 2020.

Stevens maintained that the 1.3 million staff within the NHS had a ‘responsibility’ to lead by example and encouraged MPs to take similar action. Stevens also added that such a move could raise around £20-40 million per year.

It is hoped that the tax will discourage staff, patients and visitors from buying sugary items, while any extra money raised would be used to improve the health of the NHS' large workforce.

Stevens said: "Because of the role that the NHS occupies in national life, all of us working in the NHS have a responsibility not just to support those who look after patients, but also to draw attention to and make the case for some of the wider changes that will actually improve the health of this country.

"It's not just the well-being of people in this country and our children. But it's also the sustainability of the NHS itself.”

The proposal has arrived shortly after Prime Minister David Cameron suggested that he would be prepared to drop his opposition to a sugar tax, claiming that ‘what matters is we do make progress’.