This week Labour’s Monica Lennon asked the Scottish Government how much each NHS board pays to private contractors for hospital catering services. (S5W-24708). Jeanne Freeman’s response in a table showed that around 11 million was outsourced. I was reminded then of how Labour had started all this and the SNP had begun to put a stop to it in 2008:

The Scottish Government today banned private contractors from tendering for catering and cleaning deals at NHS hospitals with immediate effect. In a guidance note to Scotland’s 14 health authorities, John Matheson, director of health finance at the Health Finance Directorate, stated that cleaning and catering played a key role in the delivery of clinical services in the NHS in Scotland. Existing contracts for the provision of services are not affected by this guidance. Last year Scotland spent £46m on catering at its 64 general hospitals, although this figure includes both public and private caterers. 

Most important however was this intention in 2008:

The [SNP] secretary claims bringing catering and soft service in house are the only effective way to eradicate super-bugs, such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile from Scotland’s hospitals.

Then in June 2019, Labour’s Lennon asked how many hospital-acquired infections have been connected to food products. The SNP Health Secretary was able to reply that there had been NO hospital-related foodborne outbreaks in the past five years.

Click to access WA20190619.pdf

So, 11 years after the SNP began to replace Labour privatisation folly on hospital catering, where they legally could do so, food-related disease outbreaks have been wiped out.