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Lack of nationwide standards means hospital food ‘worse than prison meals’

Lack of nationwide standards means hospital food ‘worse than prison meals’

The standard of hospital meals varies so much across the country it is often worse than prison food, according to a new report.

The lack of minimum standards for food served on hospital wards in England means many patients are having put up with poor meals with little nutritional value.
The report, to be published recently, warned that the lack of minimum standards for food served on hospital wards in England means many patients are having put up with poor meals with little nutritional value.

Local health authorities are allowed to determine how much they spend on food in their hospitals, leading to wide fluctuations in quality. Many hospitals in England operate on a food budget of less than £3 per patient per day, with less than £1 spent on each meal.

The new report has been written by The Campaign for Better Hospital Food, which is backed by several high-profile chefs and cookery writers, including Loyd Grossman and Albert Roux.

It says more than 82,000 uneaten hospital meals are thrown away each day and that 67 per cent of hospital staff would not want to eat the food they serve to patients.

Calling for minimum standards of nutrition to be set nationwide for hospital food, the campaign said: “While a handful of hospitals in England have introduced hospital food standards to improve patients’ meals, the government’s reliance on voluntary initiatives to encourage the adoption of food standards at all hospitals has failed.”

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