MAJOR NHS hospitals are spending as little as £2.61 feeding sick Brits daily – almost the same as prisons splash out on meals for lags. MPs called for
MAJOR NHS hospitals are spending as little as £2.61 feeding sick Brits daily – almost the same as prisons splash out on meals for lags.
MPs called for an urgent review, warning poor quality dishes risk patient recovery.
Alamy Top hospitals are spending pittance on food for sick
New figures reveal a postcode lottery on food, with five acute hospitals spending less than £4 per patient per day on grub and a further nine less than £5.
Gloucester Royal Hospital forked out the least, with just £2.61 a day spent on patient meals.
The Ministry of Justice spends £2.02 on feeding criminals.
In total, 144 million meals were provided to hospital patients in 2016/17.
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth vows Labour will increase investment in hospital food
The average NHS daily food spend was £11.05 per patient last year – but sick Brits treated at Frimley Health Trust had nearly £40 lavished on them each day.
However, the higher figures may also include staff and preparation costs, not solely the price of the food.
The data was uncovered by shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth.
It comes as admissions for malnutrition have more than doubled since 2010, while cases involving obesity have tripled in the last six years.
The standard of food in schools and prisons is covered by legal minimum standards.
Speaking at the Hospital Caterers’ Association annual conference today, Mr Ashworth will pledge to give hospital food similar protection.
He will say: “Patient care isn’t just about medicines, bandages, treatments and surgical procedures, it’s about nutrition and hydration as well.
“And yet we have allowed a situation where some hospitals according to the official data are spending less than £3 a day on patient meals.
Getty Images – Getty Gloucester Royal Hospital forked out just £2.61 a day spent on patient meals
“Unlike schools and prisons there are no mandatory minimum requirements for hospital meals, so the next Labour government will substantially increase investment in our NHS to improve patient care including providing the nutritious meals patients deserve.”
Campaign for Better Food said half of hospital caterers are failing to stick to food standards written in NHS contracts.
Prue Leith, a Campaign for Better Hospital Food Ambassador, said: “For the sake of patients’ recovery and for their enjoyment, let’s hope the government commits to better food in our hospitals.”