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#GPnews: NHS chief to seek ban on hospital soft drink sales

15:25 Like GPs, nurses too are calling on the Government to end the 1% cap on pay rises for people working in the NHS.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has argued that the six-year restriction should be lifted after nurses’ pay fell 14% in real terms since 2010 and the starting salary for a newly qualified nurse in England is now £8,308 below that of the average UK graduate.

The calls come in RCN’s annual submission to the NHS pay review body (PRB), reports Pulse’s sister title Nursing in Practice.

RCN chief executive and general secretary Janet Davies said that if pay for nursing staff continued to fall patient care would be at risk.

She said: ‘Nursing staff have put up with a declining standard of living for six years because of their commitment to caring for their patients, but they can only be stretched so far.

‘This recommendation is not just about treating staff fairly for the work they are doing – it is about getting a grip on workforce planning in the NHS and helping trusts to recruit and retain the staff they need to provide safe patient care.’

13:48 So, what did Jeremy Hunt say in his speech this morning? It sounds like Mr Hunt was somewhat on the defensive, arguing his Government needs to be given more credit.

Read the full story here

12:25 Former RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada was unimpressed when health secretary Jeremy Hunt addressed the annual King’s Fund Conference this morning.

09:45 The news dominating the headlines this morning (or maybe not) is that NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has announced plans to curb the sales of soft drinks in hopsitals.

A formal consultation launched today explores new fees to put off vendors, which would be paid back into staff health services, and even an outright ban.

NHS England said this comes as a recent survey found obesity to be the most significant self-reported health problem amongst NHS staff, with nearly 700,000 NHS staff estimated to be overweight or obese.

Mr Stevens said: ‘Confronted by rising obesity, type 2 diabetes and child dental decay, it’s time for the NHS to practice what we preach. Nurses, visitors and patients all tell us they increasingly want healthy, tasty and affordable food and drink options.

‘So like a number of other countries we’re now calling time on hospitals as marketing outlets for junk food and fizzy drinks.

‘By ploughing the proceeds of any vendor fees back into staff health and patient charities these proposals are a genuine win/win opportunity to both improve health and cut future illness cost burdens for the NHS.’