21 January 2004
Petition calls for better quality food in hospitals and more pay
A petition in support of the "NHS food for good" campaign launched
by health care union UNISON is to be presented to Michael McMahon
MSP, Convenor of the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee
The petition with hundreds of signatures from NHS Chefs, catering
and other health staff will be presented by Raymond Marshall and
Lilian Macer - two chefs working in the NHS - and Simon Macfarlane,
UNISON's Officer for NHS Ancillary workers at 12.45 pm in the Black
& White Corridor.
The "Food for Good" Charter, has been supported by 37 MSP's, a
number of other organisations and even attracted the backing of
Egon Ronay! It calls on the Scottish Executive to deliver a nutritious
and healthy diet to NHS patients, supplied from safe, high quality
suppliers and prepared by properly trained and paid chefs.
Simon Macfarlane said "Whilst we welcome a number of the efforts
the Scottish Executive has already made to promote healthy eating,
what needs to be addressed quickly are, firstly, the need for meals
to be delivered by well-run, properly resourced public provision,
rather than purely cost-driven private providers, and secondly the
need for the Executive to build on the low pay agreement reached
in the NHS in 2003 and to recognise that Chefs must be paid for
the valuable craft they bring to the Health Service.
"It is clear from the recent Scottish Low Pay Unit report that
low pay is a problem in catering in general, and this is also true
in the NHS. We must address this if we are serious about recruiting
and retaining staff who can deliver food to the standards necessary
for the health and welfare of patients."
UNISON is campaigning for NHS catering to become a beacon of high
quality and a driver for improvement in health and the food economy
For Further Information Please Contact: Simon Macfarlane(UNISON
officer - Anc Staff)0845 355 0845(w) 07931 365 263(m)
Food for Good