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Campaign aims to increase hospital staff’s access to hot meals at night and at weekends

BMJ 2022; 376 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o167 (Published 20 January 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:o167
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

Hospitals are facing pressure from a grassroots staff campaign to provide hot, nutritious meals to staff working night shifts and at weekends.

In many hospitals, catering for staff is based around regular office hours with canteens that open from Monday to Friday for breakfast and lunch. Some sites open for longer hours, but most staff who work weekends, overnight, and on public holidays are likely to struggle to buy food, particularly if they want a hot and healthy meal.

The #24hrhotfoodfortheNHS campaign (now rebranded #NoHungryNHSStaff) was launched two months ago by Neely Mozawala, a community specialist diabetes podiatrist based in Somerset, to draw attention to the poor state of food available for staff working unsocial hours in NHS hospitals in England and to push for change.

It is already having an impact. Pilot schemes to increase the availability of food at night have been announced at several hospitals, and John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, has sponsored an early day motion, which now has 15 signatures, calling on the government to provide the funding necessary to enable every hospital trust to provide a 24 hour hot food canteen service.1

Mozawala does not work nights herself but has many friends and colleagues who do. She launched the campaign after they told her …

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