Welcome to the local procurement pages of the Hospital Caterers Association website

There are a lot of myths around local procurement because of misunderstandings and confusion regarding what we actually want the outcome to be. Hopefully, these pages will go a long way to assist you in achieving that. You will see a tab which is available to you – the local suppliers, to help you to contact branches and local members within the HCA to offer your produce/goods to hospital caterers. It will also explain how you will need to be compliant in certain areas ie SALSA/STS/BRS, which are all accreditations, which are acceptable for supply into the NHS and are recognised bodies throughout the food industry. These can be gained at different stages and is not as complex area to achieve these for local suppliers and should not be an area which puts you off supplying us.

This page also builds upon the work done in conjunction with James Martin and the work he has done to improve hospital food. Please find the link to James’s website, which the Hospital Caterers Association is supporting and is being reciprocated by James Martin, which should encourage more people to get involved in local procurement.

As caterers, you will see case studies of how, why and how simple it is to procure local produce from local suppliers. Again, myths have arisen and we need to break those myths down; your pages will allow you to do this. This is your website, not only for hospital caterers and members of the HCA but you as suppliers; please use it and leave comments. Assist us in building this for the future. Let us use that vision which we all want to achieve which is good, wholesome food which is the centre of the recovery plan.

Together we can be part of this; we are part of the community and we must rise to this challenge and deliver for the benefit of all, not only now but in the future.

I would like to thank all HCA members for their contributions, especially John Hughes, Mike Pearson, William McCartney and Derek Stevens who have all contributed to make this work. However, this is just the beginning – not the end and I would like all the members to submit case studies and best practice of how they have achieved local procurement. We must also remember that local procurement is not just about buying locally, but buying seasonally as well. We must encourage this.


We are encouraging and wanting to engage with local suppliers so you become more involved in the Hospital Caterers Association and supply to the NHS and get closer to the people who can make a difference with your products – the caterers.

We would like you to register your interest in supplying the NHS and in particular, the Hospital Caterers Association members. This is so we can ensure you embed your products and ranges, also to ensure your prices are more competitive and  will encourage the caterers to use them.

These pages are also there to assist you in finding local contacts within the Hospital Caterers Association by using the menu above, which will then take you to our plethora of branches, or by using the enquiry form below, we will contact you directly and assist you in finding the correct area and branch to go through to.

Please download the enquiry form for your free entry within the Hospital Caterers Association Local Procurement Buyer’s Guide.

How to set up Local Procurement

The download below contains various information and a ‘step by step guide’ which will assist you in the stages from – selling this key strategic concept to your trust and getting their ‘buy in’, to how you would like to use local produce, producers, farmers and suppliers. If you’re not sure where to start or you have been confused by conflicting information and myths around local procurement, the following guide and information will assist you.

This guide has been kindly supplied by HCA Member Derrick Stevens, Catering Services Manager at Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, who has embedded this process in his Trust.


15 Guidelines to get you on the sustainable procurement (fast track)

The guide below is the result of William McCartneyHead of Catering Services, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's journey over the last 15 years to improve Hospital Food Services in Sussex.

"I started in 1999-200 having all our 100 portion standard recipes in our central food production kitchen recipes nutritional analysed. This was followed in 2001-2003 with the Better Hospital Foods programme we integrated these recipes in our production.

In 2005 I was advised by my CEO, Lisa Rodrigues, to push my elbows out and drive on, the work with the strong backing from the Chairman and Trust main board including full support from senior managers and clinicians.

Sussex Partnership worked with local farmers and growers (SME.'s) in 2006-2010, the Plough to Plate programme was introduced, starting with Fish and Dairy in 2006-2007, then onto Fruit and Vegetables and prepared vegetables.

Further sustainable initiatives followed, in 2011-13 with Fork to Field and Farm Gate to Plate programmes for local meat and animal welfare improvements in the Sustainability of the food chain.

Models that can be adopted by the NHS and all Public Sector organisations to improve health and recovery outcomes for our service users."


Download the latest details of how red meat fits in your menu and improves diet quality


Catering guidance that offers practical advice on how to make catering affordable, healthier and more sustainable

Public Health England, have issued the following guidance for caterers, which as your chair, I would highly recommend it is not only read, but also utilised. Can I draw your attention to the excel document on GBSF, which is a simple to use checker, which I am sure you will find of great value, especially if you link it to applying for the recently announced CQUIN.

This guidance highlights the principles that have been used in generating the advice and a toolkit to achieve a healthier and more sustainable catering service. The guidance, together with the tools, will help those who need to, or have chosen to, meet government buying standards for food and catering services.

The Nutrition Checker Tool will allow you to check your food purchases and service against the nutrition criteria in the Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering Services (GBSF).


KD Catering Butchers journey and working relationship to achieve sustainability with Sussex Partnership NHS Trust

Please download the document below which outlines the successful development of a local supplier to the NHS.


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