The NHS is planning to impose a tax on all sugary food and drink sold in hospital cafes to help tackle the growing problem of obesity. Chief executive, Simon Stevens told the Guardian newspaper that the tax is to be introduced by 2020.
Stevens continued to say that the 1.3 million NHS staff have a responsibility, it is up to them to lead by example. While David Cameron is not ruling out a national sugar tax, Stevens urges MPs to take action.
The NHS would be the first public body in Britain to impose the sugar tax, suggested by Jamie Oliver in 2015.
It is estimated the 20% tax (applied initially to sugary drinks) could raise up to £20m to £40m a year. Stevens hopes the tax will discourage staff, patients and visitors from buying sugary produce, while the money raised could be used to improve the NHS.
NHS bosses plan to introduce the tax gradually, enforcing the tax as the catering and shop contracts come to an end and are due a renewal.