June Food Forums: Thank you for joining us

16 July 2019

NHS Supply Chain: Food forum Leicester June 2019

We recently completed our second round of Food Forums where more than 50 NHS Trusts came together across six different regions to discuss all things food procurement.

Food Forums are a great way to collaborate and share ideas with NHS catering and procurement teams. The June Forums provided trusts with the latest updates on a number of important topics. For those of you that couldn’t make it, here’s a snapshot of what you missed out on.

Blind tasting and product optimisation

For the first time, we held blind tasting sessions providing attendees with the opportunity to sample some of the new products from our upcoming framework launches. Products included: Tea, coffee (decaff and caffeinated), biscuits, orange juice and custard.

The results of the sampling were overwhelming, with the vast majority of attendees voting the new products as being of superior or equal quality to the incumbent products – based purely on taste and texture. And with significant savings of up to 60%, depending on the product and current route to market, attendees came away excited at the prospect of making savings for their trusts.

It was an excellent practical session, very much enjoyed by all. The new, unbranded products not only offer huge potential savings, but they’re also of similar quality and taste to the branded incumbent lines. I am looking forward to see this new range launch.Phil Shelley, Facilities Manager
Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust

Multi Temperature Distribution Model

The current NHS Supply Chain route to market only permits deliveries of ambient products. NHS Catering professionals have told us this is a big barrier to using NHS Supply Chain and that it needs to change. We’ve listened to their feedback and are working on a plan for a new distribution model that will allow us to deliver products of all temperatures – chilled, frozen and ambient.

Our goal is to deliver savings, transparency and sustainability for the NHS and with the new model moving at pace ahead of its launch in January 2020, we took the opportunity to update attendees on everything that has been happening. We now have 35 NHS trusts on board for phase one of the model – 25 Acute, 8 Mental Health and 2 Community Hospitals and our Culinary Lead (Tim Zawada), Dietician (Luke Davies) and Project Lead (Jane Wakeling) have been touring the breadth of the country meeting with everyone on phase one to discuss timings, product lists, allergens, delivery windows and much more.

It’s not too late for NHS Caterers to join the new model, speak to your NHS Supply Chain: Food Account Manager if you’d like to be involved.

Upcoming Framework Launches

Attendees heard from our procurement experts on how our new frameworks – Cold Beverages, Confectionery and Snacks and Hot Beverage and Vending Consumables – will drive savings, help trusts to implement innovative new products and benefit from consistent pricing that leverages the collective scale of the NHS. Trusts were also given a sneak peek of our insight brochures that include a range of different implementation tools.

See our Useful Links 🔗 section for more information on these frameworks.

Host a Food Forum

We’re now busy organising the next round of Food Forums to take place in September 2019. If you are an NHS Catering professional and would like to host a Food Forum, please contact your NHS Supply Chain: Food Account Manager. We’re on the lookout for a venue in each of the following six regions:

  • London & South East
  • South
  • South West
  • Midlands
  • North
  • North East

A big thank you to everyone who attended our last forums, we look forward to seeing you in September!


Media Enquiries:

Jennie Brice

Corporate Communications Manager

Joanna Morrison

Head of Public Affairs and PR