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:
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.
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.