Action to cut sales of sugary drinks

NHS England is committed to improving the health of the 1.3 million staff working in the NHS and to lead the way in promoting healthy working environments. As a result, NHS England has taken action to reduce the sale of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) on NHS premises.

From July 2017 NHS England has been running a SSB voluntary reduction scheme which asks NHS Trusts and retailers on NHS premises to:

  • Reduce the proportion of monthly SSB sales per NHS outlet, reaching a target of 10 per cent or less of total volume of drinks sales
  • Provide NHS England with self-reported data on the volume of SSB sales

In June 2018 a progress update on the scheme was given. This stated that for scheme participants between July 2017 and March 2018, the proportion of total drinks sales accounted for by SSBs reduced from 15.6 per cent to 8.7 per cent.

These figures demonstrate significant progress by participating Trusts and retailers.

Progress made so far has successfully met the threshold required to avoid activating the fall-back provisions in the NHS Standard Contract for a national ban on SSBs at this time.

CQUIN indicator 1b has been updated for 2018/19 and now requires all NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts to be signed up to the SSB reduction scheme and achieve the 10 per cent target in each retailer on each NHS site, in order to be fully eligible for CQUIN payments. The situation will be reviewed again for 2019/20 to ensure progress continues. NHS England will consult to include the sugar restrictions in the standard contract and is looking at options to go further on food and drink standards. Trusts remain free to implement their own local strategies and restrictions to SSBs and food as they see fit, in addition to the CQUIN standard.

Any remaining Trusts and retailers not yet signed up to the sugar reduction scheme should do so in order to meet 2018/19 CQUIN requirements. This should be done by signing this commitment form and returning it to


View the ‘action to reduce sales of sugar-sweetened drinks on NHS premises’ consultation response and next steps here