The Campaign for Better Hospital Food last week revealed figures which warned that only 55% of patients rated hospital food as ‘good’ – an obvious contrast with the annual assessments carried out by hospital staff which show that 99% of meals are rated as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
The report highlighted that spending on food in different hospitals ranged from £15.65 per patient per day to a mere £2.94 to provide three meals for patients. It also highlighted that the amount spent was not necessarily indicative of the quality of food; Heatherwood and Wrexham Park Trust for example spend £13 per patient per day but came out bottom on patient satisfaction.
The news strengthens the argument for Government to support the Health and Social Care (Amendment) (Food Standards) Bill which was introduced to Parliament by Baroness Cumberlege; it aims to improve patient meals by requiring them to meet mandatory standards.
Alex Jackson, Co-ordinator of the Campaign for Better Hospital Food, said: “It is time for the Government to come clean about the sorry state of hospital food in England and set mandatory standards for patient meals.
This would only involve extending an existing policy which has seen it set mandatory standards for prison food and food served in government departments, to go alongside those that already exist for school food. Surely patients recovering in hospital have the same right to good food as government Ministers, school kids and prisoners?”