Coffee shops Starbucks and Costa are continuing their rapid expansion by moving into NHS hospitals.
A survey by The Independent shows that 40 of 170 English NHS hospital trusts now has a branded fast food outlet. A further five are about to sign up chains. Most are cafes like Costa, Ritazza and Uppercrust. A few are takeaway joints such as Burger King.
Does it matter that these brands are moving into the NHS? For burger chains, the answer is obvious, though apparently not to hospital managers in Cambridge, Southampton and Rotherham. But some coffee shop food is unhealthy, too.
Surprisingly, some Starbucks and Costa Coffee sandwiches have more fat than a Big Mac and the sweet pastries can be as salty as bacon - although it's difficult to know because they are not required by law to display nutritional information. Perhaps the National Health Service should associate itself only with healthy food.
On the other hand, a familiar branded cafe may brighten up an otherwise distressing hospital visit. Judging by their proliferation, coffee shops are popular. They are also paying the hospitals money, which presumably goes back into frontline patient care.
Still, it's food for thought.
Below are details of our survey. The hard work of phoning 199 NHS trusts was done by Lucy Pearce, a trainee journalist.
Branded food chain outlets at NHS Trusts and Authorities:
1. Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Costa Coffee
2. Bromley Hospital NHS Trusts – Costa Coffee
3. Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Costa Coffee, Burger King, Uppercrust and Café Ritazza
4. Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Costa Coffee
5. Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust – Costa Coffee
6. Ealing Hospital - NHS Trust - Costa Coffee
7. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust - Costa Coffee
8. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – Costa Coffee and Café Ritazza
9. King's College Hospital NHS Foundation – Costa Coffee
10. Kingston Hospital - Costa Coffee
11. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust - Costa Coffee
12. Luton and Dunstable Hospital - NHS Foundation Trust - Uppercrust and Café Nova
13. Great Ormond Street Hospital for Chidren's NHS Trust - Costa Coffee
14.Newham University Hospital NHS Trust - Costa Coffee
15. North West London Hospitals Trust - Costa Coffee and Starbucks
16. Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals – Starbucks
17. Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation - AMT Coffee
18. Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust – Café Ritazza
19. Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust – Café Ritazza, Uppercrust and Burger King
20. Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – Café Ritazza
21. The Hillington Hospital NHS Trust - Ritazza Coffee
22. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn NHS Trust - Ritazza Coffee
23. University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust – Costa Coffee
24. University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust – Costa Coffee and Java Café
25. Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust – Subway
26. NorthTees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust – Uppercrust
27. Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Java City
28.Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust – Uppercrust
29. Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust – Costa Coffee, Hargreaves
30. Mayday Healthcare NHS Trust – Café Ritazza and Uppercrust
31. North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust – Uppercrust
32. Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust – Costa Coffee
33. Swindon and Marlborough NHS Trust – Starbucks
34. Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust – Costa Coffee
35. Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust – Costa Coffee
36. Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Costa Coffee
37. Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust - Café Ritazza
38. Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – Starbucks
39. The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust – Burger King and Uppercrust.
40. Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – Costa Coffee
Five NHS trusts are planning or considering having branded outlets:
1. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
2. Walsall Hospitals NHS Trust
3. Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust – Agreed a deal with Costa Coffee
4. Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust
5. St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust – Agreed a deal with Costa Coffee
No NHS trust in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland admitted to having a branded food outlet.