Hospitals set up food banks for workers struggling due to ‘outrageous state of affairs’

Six NHS trusts are reported to have either set up food banks or food voucher programs amid fears huge numbers are struggling to feed their families

NHS bosses are setting up food banks and voucher schemes to support struggling staff (file image)

Hospitals are setting up food banks for staff and offering emergency loans for frontline workers struggling with skyrocketing costs.

Six NHS trusts are reported to have either set up food banks or food voucher programs amid fears huge numbers are struggling to feed their families.

According to The Independent, many more are considering following suit.

Currently Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, Norfolk Community Health and Care, West Hertfordshire, Dartford and Gravesham are known to have set up food banks and voucher services.

They follow Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and University Hospitals Birmingham, both of which have operated food banks for staff for more than two years.

NHS staff are finding it increasingly hard to feed their families (file image)


Adam Gerrard/Sunday Mirror)

Union bosses have said more and more NHS workers were struggling with rising fuel prices, with some now struggling to feed their families.

Professor Alison Leary, chair of healthcare and workforce modeling at London South Bank University, said bosses at a number of trusts are extremely worried.

She told The Independent: “I’ve been approached by several NHS organizations who are very concerned about the impact of the cost of living on their staff.

“Some are looking at starting food exchanges or food banks, and others are looking at other ways to help, for example with the costs of transport.”

Milton Keynes University Hospital has been running a community kitchen for the last two months to support staff who cannot afford to eat.

Director of corporate affairs Kate Jarman said that it would also be trialling welfare packs for struggling workers in order to support them through the cost of living crisis.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid faces calls to address the crisis



Graham Revie, who chairs the Royal College of Nursing’s Trade Union Committee, told The Independent: “This is an outrageous state of affairs, and a big admission that the NHS knows how its workers are struggling while the government denies them fair pay.”

He said “thousands” of nurses were leaving every year, with pay among the key reasons for doing so.

Mr Revie said ministers need to prioritize a fair pay rise for NHS staff – saying without this the number leaving the profession “will continue to grow”.

In a statement a government spokesperson said: “We are incredibly grateful to all our NHS staff and we recognize the pressures caused by the rising cost of living.

“We are taking action worth over £22 billion in 2022-23 to help households with the costs of energy and to ensure people keep more of their money – including by cutting fuel duty, raising the threshold at which people start to pay National Insurance and cutting taxes, for the lowest-paid workers on Universal Credit so they can keep more of what they earn.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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