Open Letter to NHS Leaders and the UK Government, May 28th 2020

If you’re part of the NHS and want to add your support, please follow this link.

Watch the video below:

We, NHS doctors and staff, are writing to urge NHS leaders and the Government to pass bold post-COVID-19 legislation to allow for rapid, nationwide changes to the obesogenic and unsustainable food environment in which we currently live. This environment has added to the UK’s COVID-19 pandemic death toll.

As healthcare professionals we are concerned that business will restart as usual after the pandemic. It is not acceptable that the NHS is collapsing under the burden of chronic diseases, the majority of which could be prevented and treated by addressing diet and lifestyle factors. We are willing to take on the task of shifting the NHS focus from a reactive healthcare system to one that promotes health and prevents chronic illness. However, this action needs to be fully embraced by NHS leaders and the Government, who should now place the nation’s long term health at the centre of their policy.

The proposed changes include:

  1. Further taxation and cessation of subsidies for junk food/fast foods/soft drinks producers as well as industrial animal farming.
  2. Ban on junk food advertising and any market manipulations which aim to increase consumption of unhealthy, processed foods or drinks.
  3. Subsidies to support the UK population in adopting a predominantly whole food plant based diet for both human and planetary health.
  4. Promotion of a plant-based food system through the adoption of Conservation Agriculture (No-Till) systems to lower carbon emissions and reduce the risk of entering a ‘post-antibiotic era’.
  5. Protection of the oceans by discouraging over-fishing and reducing the reliance on fish consumption, finding alternate sources of long-chain omega-3 fats.
  6. Showcase healthy, sustainable eating through public sector catering in schools, hospitals and prisons.


Three in four of the world’s new or emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic and are mainly transmitted through wildlife trade and factory farming.

The provision for the increasing demand for cheap meat is hugely contributing to environmental degradation and the rise of antibiotic resistance.

90% of global wild fish stocks have been over-fished or fished at capacity. Farmed fish are contaminated with antibiotics and chemicals that pose a risk to human health.

A diet high in processed foods and animal products is driving the epidemic of chronic disease and increasing the risk of dying from COVID-19. This is of particular concern for communities of lower socio-economic means and is disproportionately affecting minority ethnic communities.

NHS leaders and the Government need to act in the interests of the people and the planet rather than the interests of the corporate sector, who have contributed to the current climate and healthcare crisis through aggressive lobbying and marketing techniques.


Dr Shireen Kassam Consultant Haematologist
Dr Alicja Baczynska Specialist Registrar in Geriatric Medicine
Dr Kirsty Morgan Specialty Doctor in Emergency Medicine
Dr Sian Nasse FY1 Doctor
Dr David Cummins General Practitioner specialist trainee
Dr Graham Millward SHO General surgery
Dr Sinem Kilinc FY1 DOCTOR
Dr Samantha Rice General Practitioner
Dr Ishani Rao A&E/ Medical doctor
Dr Anant Shah Foundation doctor
Dr Aryan Tavakkoli Consultant Physician
Dr Naomi Middleton Clinical Psychologist
Dr Mavis Mayers Consultant Cellular Pathologist
Dr Kush Trust Grade Anaesthetics
Dr Joseph Toms Junior doctor
Dr Rania Alzoubidi Paediatrician
Dr Hena Arif Neurologist
Dr Kirrili Taylor General Practitioner
Dr Deepak Ravindran Consultant
Dr Sharon Porter General Practitioner
Dr Elizabeth Lidbury General Practitioner
Dr Saerrah Murryam Junior doctor
Dr Shabana Fonseca General Practitioner
Dr Rebecca Jones General Practitioner
Dr Katherine Horner Consultant Anaesthetist
Dr Katharine Arnold Specialist registrar, geriatric and general internal medicine
Dr Cordelia Howitt Consultant histopathologist
Dr Sherina Fernandes General Practitioner
Dr Shivram Samant General Practitioner
Dr Veronika Puisa Medical SHO
Dr Farida Jalal General Practitioner specialist trainee
Dr Laksman Ratne SHO
Dr Olivia Bailey Foundation year 2 doctor
Dr Ali Abbas Foundation Doctor
Mr George Ampat Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
Mr Kiran Divani Specialist registrar
Mr Farheen Imran Orthopaedic Surgeon
Mr Pinak Ray Consultant
Mr Timothy Bull Consultant Spine Surgeon
Mr Mohan Remani Senior Clinical Fellow
Dr Hannah Short General Practitioner
Dr Arvind Maheru Psychiatrist
Dr Fiona Bullions General Practitioner
Dr Buvana Dwarakanathan Consultant Paediatric Intensivist
Dr Justice Reilly Specialty Breast Doctor
Dr Samantha Rice General Practitioner
Dr Charles John Nash General Practitioner
Dr Adam Joiner Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Areli K. Cuevas-Ocampo Consultant Neuropathologist
Dr John Seymour Pembrey Retired General Practitioner
Dr Orla Frances Shanahan General Practitioner registrar
Dr Sudhir Sethi Consultant Paediatrician
Dr Manmit Kaur Consultant Haematologist
Dr Isabelle Benard General Practitioner
Dr Laura Freeman General Practitioner
Dr Amanda Citlali Pallister Foundation Year 1 Doctor
Dr Sonia Gandhi General Practitioner
Dr Pankaj Pandya General Practitioner locum
Dr Bina Vekaria Radiology Registrar
Dr Claire Fraser Taylor Consultant transplant urologist
Dr Miriam Maisel General Practitioner
Dr Ulrich Bartels Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
Dr Yim-Yee Matthews Consultant Paediatrician
Dr Miriam Martinez-Biarge Consultant Paediatrician
Dr Keen Wei Hui General Practitioner
Dr Vicky Brown Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist
Dr Robert Ayto Consultant Haematologist
Dr Clare Palmer General Practitioner
Dr Vidanelage Kamal Weerasinghe Paediatric consultant
Dr Hayley Tait General Practitioner
Dr Kenan Bastekin Foundation Year Doctor
Dr Anju Verma General Practitioner
Dr Kirrili Taylor General Practitioner
Dr Jennifer Ashdown Director of Preventative Medical Services
Dr Sue Kenneally Bariatric physician
Dr Sarah Baker General Practitioner
Mr Rajiv Bajekal Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
Mrs Nivedita Bajekal Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
Dr Tom Jacobs General Practitioner
Dr Lesley Black General Practitioner registrar
Dr Katie Pannell General Practitioner
Dr Hilary Binns General Practitioner
Dr Gemma Newman General Practitioner
Dr Helen Eades Life coach for doctors
Dr David McKelvey General Practitioner
Dr Pratima Singh Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Minil Patel Senior House Officer
Dr Johanna Ward General Practitioner
Dr Anita Sarma Consultant Haematologist
Dr Chidi Ngwaba Lifestyle Physician
Dr Rebecca Ellen Jones General Practitioner
Dr Catherine Walden Senior House Officer
Dr Roghieh Dehghan-Zaklaki General Practitioner
Dr Laura-Jane Smith Respiratory Consultant
Dr Nicola Mullholland Consultant Radiologist
Dr Cecilia Maria Mihaila SpR, Anaesthetics
Dr George Adams SpR Haematology
Dr Philippa Woolley SpR Haematology
Dr Farhan Rabbani General Practitioner
Dr Vaidehi Hegde General Practitioner
Dr Iman Velgi General Practitioner
Dr Matthew Hawker Locum consultant ophthalmologist
Dr Padmini Sastry Consultant in Acute Medicine
Dr Nesan Shanmugam Consultant Cardiologist
Dr Victoria Nute General Practitioner
Dr Isaura Alba Barba Core Medical Trainee
Dr Amy Phillips General Practitioner
Dr Yoginee Gokool Speciality Doctor Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Dr Mandy Leonhardt General Practitioner, Nutritionist (MNU)
Dr Katie Hawkins General Practitioner
Dr Sven Brode General Practitioner
Dr Louise Newson General Practitioner
Dr Elisabeth Agathos Paediatrics trainee
Dr Dev Priya Singhvi Speciality trainee
Dr Nancy Manifold Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist (Retired)
Dr Diana Warner Retired General Practitioner
Dr Helene Svinos Emergency Medicine Doctor
Dr Simon Chappell Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
Mr Harold Nwaboku Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
Mr Pinak Ray Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
Mr Abdul Gaffar Dudhniwalla Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
Mr Peter Domos Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
Dr Sirat Khan Specialist Registrar
Dr Foad Mohamed Specialist Registrar
Dr Yasser Aljabi Specialist Registrar
Dr Shreyans Gandhi Consultant Haematologist
Dr Alan Desmond Consultant Gastroenterologist
Miss Sapna Shah Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist (Retired)
Dr Camila Benouali Senior Clinical Fellow in Neonatology
Dr Julie Chandra Consultant Neuroradiologist
Dr Emily Guilem Neuroradiology fellow
Dr Sonia Mongia Consultant Anaesthetist
Dr Priyanka Shah Foundation Year doctor
Mr Pratik Shah Mr Pratik Shah, Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Ms Linda Karlberg Year 5 Medical Student
Dr Josh Cullimore General Practitioner
Dr Marta Lewandowska Foundation Year 1 Doctor
Dr Vasandhara Thoroughgood General Practitioner
Ms Angela Hickman Admin clerk
Ms Katherine Garmonsway Clinical nurse specialist and cognitive behavioural therapist
Miss Hina Mahmood Pharmacist
Miss Lyne Staff nurse
Miss Mariana ferreira da Silva e Sousa Physiotherapist
Miss Rachel Page Registered Nurse
Miss Lucy Kendrick Advanced specialist dietitian
Miss Jennifer Gray Senior Paediatric Physiotherapist
Miss Sophie Hovenden Pharmacist
Miss Rachael Andrews Clinical Scientist
Miss Katy Homyer Assistant Pharmacist
Miss Cecilia Vinchenzo Medical Student
Miss Alexandra Inyama Midwife
Miss. Danica Moller Occupational therapist
Mr Puffs Rivers Peer support worker
Mr Gregg Norton MH nurse (student), HCA
Mr Brian Bennett Physician associate student
Mrs Cornelia Libal EPMA Pharmacy Manager
Mrs Malgorzata Balcerzak Midwife
Mrs Claire Fullbrook-Scanlon Senior Nurse Clinical Academic
Mrs Penelope O’Brien Speech and language therapist
Mrs Laura Wilson Team Leader, Patient Services
Mrs Annemarie Blakemore Haematology Nurse Specialist
Ms Emma Waller-Stell Staff nurse
Ms Amy Bourne Project Manager, Quality and Safety
Ms Petya Ilieva Dietitian
Ms Mairi Macdonald Staff nurse
Ms Jenny Fernandez Clinical Operational Manager BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
Ms Rita Castanhito Front desk receptionist
Ms Malwina Bajer Registered nurse (adult)
Ms Ashley Rhinehart Registered Nurse
Miss Linda Heppolette Midwifery Matron
Mrs Gita Suchak Dental Practice Owner
Mrs Malgorzata Balcerzak Midwife
Ms Joanne Mary Waller Senior Biomedical Scientist Cellular Pathology
Ms Julie Stewart Primary Care Commissioning Officer
Mrs Sheetal Kanwar Pharmacist
Ms Ms Lam Ruth Yan Pre-registration Pharmacist
Ms Lucy Russell Registered Nurse
Ms Sandra Hood Diabetes Specialist Dietitian
Mrs Louisa Aubry Registered Nurse
Miss Hannah Manos Registered Nurse
Mrs Rachel Claire Bowley Clinical Nurse Specialist
Ms Esther Clift Consultant Practitioner in Frailty
Ms Jennifer Sparkes Midwife
Ms Maria Soares Midwife
Ms Laura Janse Van Rensbur Registered dietitian
Ms Jenny Fernandez Clinical Operations Manager
Mrs David Shirley Physiotherapist
Mss Jessica Humble Registered Nurse
Mrs Lisa Davidson Registered Nurse
Ms Rosie Martin Registered dietitian
Ms Emma Waller-Stell Registered Nurse
Miss Charis Jones RMN Ward Manager
Ms Deborah Williams
Shared Care Recovery Coordinator, Rotherham Drug and Alcohol Services
Ms Karen Lee Retired registered nurse
Mrs Kiriaki Marselou Pharmacist
Ms Anna Mayhew Senior sister
Mrs Katherine Francis Staff nurse
Dr Jan Birtle Consultant
Dr Joanna Morrison General Practitioner
Mr David Baker Research Practitioner
Dr Emma Gupta Consultant Paediatrician
Dr Emily Knott General Practitioner
Dr Susanna Spicer General Practitioner
Mr David Baker Research Practioner
Ms Kathleen Denney Nurse Practioner
Mr Tamer Latif Salem Pharmacist
Mr Barry Downey Pharmacist
Mrs Kim Driver Registered Nurse
Mrs Cathy McGinn Registered Nurse
Ms Sharon Townsend Registered Nurse
Mrs Juliane Scandian Associate dentist
Miss Dominika Piasecka Registered Nurse
Mrs Joy Brooks Counsellor for depression
Mr Dan Power Volunteer
Dr Thomas Downs Foundation Year Doctor
Dr Jagruti Hillhouse General Practitioner registrar
Dr Mehreen Mehmood General Practitioner registrar
Miss Sahaana Raj Doctor
Dr Giuditta Sanna Consultant microbiologist
Ms Vandna Patel Dietitian
Mr Emil Czarnocki Registered Nurse
Mrs Anna Gnat Registered Nurse
Miss Antonia Dennes Dental Nurse
Dr Elizabeth Westwood Foundation Year 1 Doctor
Dr Keval Shah Dentist
Dr Jessica Frost Foundation Year 1 Doctor
Dr Jagruti Hillhouse General Practitioner registrar


Willett, W. et al. (2019) ‘Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems’, Lancet, 6736, pp. 3–49. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31788-4.

2020 Global Nutrition Report;


State of the world fisheries and aquaculture 2018

A. Kassam, T. Friedrich & R. Derpsch (2019) Global spread of Conservation Agriculture, International Journal of Environmental Studies, 76:1, 29-51, DOI: 10.1080/00207233.2018.1494927