NHS plan to stop patients eating Weetabix and Bran Flakes for breakfast will save more than £400,000 says health minister
- Stephen Hammond said NHS could save a third on breakfasts if it buys in bulk
- Alpen cereal bars will also be off the menu in the drive to save £2.4billion
- Weetabix cereal prices were hiked after the pound’s slump since the Brexit vote
Hospital patients won’t be getting Weetabix or Bran Flakes for breakfast anymore under a new plan to save the NHS £420,000.
Alpen cereal bars, owned by Weetabix, will also be unavailable due to increased prices after Health Minister Stephen Hammond said the NHS could save a third on breakfasts if it buys in bulk.
Hospital managers have been encouraged to buy supplies from one of the NHS’s procurement arms, NHS Supply Chain.
Have you had YOUR Weetabix? Not if you’re in hospital you haven’t. The NHS procurement arm has scrapped its orders with the firm, for Weetabix (left) and Bran Flakes (right)
The Breakfast Savings Initiative, which 19 NHS trusts participate in, is part of plans to save £2.4billion, according to the Guardian.
Mr Hammond said: ‘The NHS serves up thousands of delicious breakfasts every day – but pays wildly different amounts for simple things like beans, tea and jam’.
In early 2017, then-chief executive of Weetabix, Giles Turrell, said Weetabix could become another consumer brand to raise prices as a result of the pound’s slump since the Brexit vote.
The breakfast cereal manufacturer said if prices were to go up, the increases would probably be in the ‘low single digits’
Although the company harvests wheat in Northamptonshire, it is sold in US dollars on global markets, meaning the cost in pounds to buy wheat in the UK has gone up.
Like other packaged food makers, it has been squeezed by the plunging value of sterling, which has raised the cost of imported goods or globally traded commodities priced in US dollars.
NHS hospitals will continue to be able to purchase the discontinued products from NHS Supply Chain while stocks last, the procurement team said.
A spokesperson for NHS Supply Chain said: ‘NHS customers can still order Weetabix through NHS Supply Chain’s wholesaler frameworks and the Weetabix will be delivered to the hospital via the wholesaler.
‘Patients are therefore still able to have Weetabix for breakfast in those NHS hospitals which purchase Weetabix.’
Seven lines patients may miss out on in the NHS
NHS Supply Chain said that following a price increase the following lines would no longer be available from a major route to market after existing stocks were depleted, which it anticipated would happen this week:
Alpen cereal bars from Weetabix will also no longer be stored by the NHS
- Cereal breakfast Weetabix (pack of 48)
- Cereal breakfast Weetabix individual (96 x 1) single biscuit
- Cereal breakfast Weetabix individual (48 x 2)
- Cereal breakfast Bran flakes 500g
- Cereal Bars Strawberry & Yoghurt Breakfast Bar [Alpen bar, made by Weetabix]
- Cereal Bars Fruit & Nut Chocolate Breakfast Bar [Alpen bar, made by Weetabix]
- Cereal Bars Fruit & Nut Breakfast Bar [Alpen bar, made by Weetabix]