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  1. National

Your views: The state of NHS hospital food

Viewers have expressed mixed reactions over the state of food in the nation's NHS hospitals - ranging from outrage to disbelief of criticism over Britain's healthcare system.

Yes we pay taxes...it's food...don't like it don't eat it! There are thousands of people all over the world who are suffering without food for days and people still moan! It's not a 5 star restaurant!

– Viewer Michelle Cagnasso
Viewer Kim Griffiths described the food as 'nasty, tasteless slop'. Credit: Kim Griffiths

I used to serve food up on the wards. Food looks fine, yet as soon as it's put in the heating trolley it goes all sloppy. Also the lack of help with giving out the food to patients mean that on big wards even the heating trolley doesn't keep food warm for all the patients.

– Viewer Rachael Parnham

While in hospital once, I stated I was vegetarian. For lunch I received a beef salad. I explained to the staff member handing out meals that I was vegetarian and asked if I could possibly have something without meat, and after being tutted and sighed at, was presented with a chicken salad and told to 'pick the salad from around the meat'.

– Viewer Sarah Owen

We'd like to hear your views on hospital food

It is claimed by www.hospitalfood.org.uk that these photos are examples of the types of meals being served in the country's hospitals. ITV News Tyne Tees is not able to independently verify them.

We'd like to hear your views on this issue. Contact us on Twitter @ITVTyneTees or on Facebook facebook.com/tynetees

Chips, it's claimed, are a frequent accompaniment Credit: hospitalfood.org.uk
Cheesy pasta and chips Credit: hospitalfood.org.uk
Meat with mashed potato and roast potato Credit: hospitalfood.org.uk
Hotpot Credit: hospitalfood.org.uk

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  1. National

New rules crack down on 'unacceptable' hospital food

New NHS rules will banish unacceptable food in hospitals - meaning sloppy mashed potato and soggy vegetables may become a thing of the past.

The Department of Health is aiming to improve the quality and nutritional value of hospital food. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

For the first time hospitals will have to meet mandatory food standards as part of a long-mooted drive to raise its standards of food across the country, the Department of Health (DoH) said.

They will also be ranked according to the quality of their food and will be required to meet legally-binding standards.

Patients will be screened for malnutrition and given personal food plans, while hospital staff will have to ensure patients get the help they need so that they can physically eat and drink.

Healthy diets will be promoted to staff and visitors in hospital canteens, and what they serve will have to meet Government recommendations on salt, sugar and saturated fats.

  1. National

Hunt: New rules to raise food standards across NHS

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says new guidelines are designed to ensure high food standards are upheld in hospitals across the NHS.

He said that while the "majority" of NHS patients felt the food was "good or very good", healthier, more nutritious foods would help people recover more quickly when in care.

  1. National

Hospital food standards 'are about good nutrition'

Sweeping changes to the standards of hospital food "are about good nutrition" to ensure patients have the best chance at a full recovery, a charity has told Good Morning Britain.

Ruth Isden said patients did not expect hospitals to be "five star restaurants" and good quality food "was a really important of their care".

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Help for women affected by post-natal depression

Stephanie Addison established a charity to help other women Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A mother from Hartlepool is offering support to other women affected by post-natal depression.

Stephanie Addision established the charity Raindrops to Rainbows last year, in the wake of her own experiences.

The Royal College of Midwives estimates that 59 per cent of women feel down or depressed after giving birth. Its survey, in collaboration with the parenting website Mumsnet, also found that 75 per cent of the women affected had not sought help from a midwife or similar professional.

Stephanie, who is a mother to three children, hopes women will turn to organisations like hers to ensure they do not suffer in silence.

"Not many people understand post-natal depression as it can affect people in many ways depending on the severity. It is an illness that more people should be aware of."

– Stephanie Addison, Raindrops to Rainbows

Ex-footballer aims to raise £1m with Premier League stadium run

Former Southampton defender Francis Benali is hoping to raise more than one million pounds for charity by running between every Premier League ground.

The 45-year-old started his 1,000-mile journey from St James' Park in Newcastle this morning. He's due to finish the run at St Mary's Stadium, in Southampton on September 13.

Benali completes first leg of charity run

Former Southampton footballer Francis Benali has completed the first leg of his 1,000-mile journey to every Premier League ground.

The 45-year-old began 'Benali's Big Run' at St James' Park in Newcastle, before making his way to the Stadium of Light in Sunderland. He arrived on Wearside at around 10:45am.

Benali is now expected to arrive at the KC Stadium in Hull on Tuesday.

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