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Use local food and save £400m, says hospital manager

Nottingham City Hospital and the Queen’s Medical Centre’s catering trust has urged fellow hospital catering departments to follow its example and start sourcing food locally.

Trust catering manager John Hughes claims that since they adopted the new policy, they have achieved a daily plate saving of £2.50 per patient. This equates to more than £6m a year, which Hughes said would save “up to £400m” annually if it were rolled out across the NHS.

Hughes almost dismissed the idea of sourcing his beef locally rather than from South America, fearing that it would be too expensive and that there would not be enough fresh local produce available.

[quote bottom=Trust catering manager John Hughes]I was happy to be proved wrong on both counts.

This was one of the tough decisions I think we should be cheered to the rafters for taking. It doesn’t actually cost any more and you are actually going to invest in local communities and the local suppliers you want to develop. On top of that it’s actually going to save the NHS millions of pounds a year.[/quote]

The scheme has apparently put around £1m into the local economy in its first year, a figure which is expected to double over the next 12 months.