Reimagining food procurement for the NHS

Between 2020 to 2021, our NHS Supply Chain: Food team* focused on transformational changes in food and beverage provision for the NHS. The aim was to accelerate category growth, savings, and solutions to support the needs of caterers, patients, staff and visitors.

The NHS Supply Chain Chef’s Academy, Retail Excellence Programme and culinary concepts were just some of the projects launched to deliver this step change. These were all driven by our procurement and financial expertise, world-class key account management, and a sharp focus on operational excellence.

NHS Supply Chain Chef’s Academy

The Chef’s Academy was launched in 2020 after recognising a gap in resources to train and inspire NHS chefs. The Academy was designed as a new and bespoke training ground to foster the continuing professional development of frontline catering staff.

At each session, we would provide culinary training through hands-on cooking, inspire through new recipes and analysis, and give the opportunity to share best practices in a kitchen setting. The Academy is free of charge for NHS caterers. By offering these opportunities to chefs we can see the positive affects this could have on staff retention, motivation, and importantly, the impact on the food produced in NHS environments.

Retail excellence programme

Working with our supply partners we developed a range of support for partner trusts. The focus of the programme was to offer formal support to our NHS trusts for best practice retail excellence and increase revenue across retail outlets. The support included defining the range consumers expect to see, implementing the right practices and initiatives to support these ranges on site, merchandising which maximises the space available, and increased supplier support.

Culinary concepts

The combined wealth of experience in our in-house culinary team has enabled us to launch a range of culinary concepts to inspire NHS chefs. We want to increase our support for catering teams in hospitals across the country by sharing recipes that offer healthy and innovative food options for staff and visitors.

Our experienced in-house culinary team put each range of recipes together around a theme using insights from consumer trends and our work with the NHS.

Benefits of our Culinary Concepts:

  • An increased breadth of food choices for staff and visitors
  • Recipes backed by our culinary team, who can demonstrate the concepts at your trust
  • The opportunity for NHS chefs to expand their repertoire and capabilities
  • Exciting healthy eating options that support improved wellbeing
  • Relatively simple recipes to produce – averaging eight to ten steps

To learn more about our team at NHS Supply Chain: Food, visit

* Foodbuy was awarded the contract to supply food as part of at NHS Supply Chain in 2018.