Hospital food standards

Campaigners are calling for standards of hospital food to be regulated acoss England by introducing the same control that is in place in schools and prisons.

Full Report: Calls for hospital food standards to be regulated

Campaigners are calling for standards of hospital food to be regulated across England by introducing the same control that is in place in schools and prisons.

It follows news that hospital chiefs have been giving themselves the the highest possible rating for their food, despite figures being put forward by an independent Care Quality Commission survey which showed half of patients were dissatisfied with hospital food.

Rachel Bullock's full report is below.

National

Health chiefs contradict patients and give food 5 stars

Hospital food
Hospital food is worth five stars, according to health chiefs Credit: PA

Hospital chiefs think their patients are fed incredibly well and gave themselves the highest possible rating for their food, figures show.

Out of 156 hospitals in England, three out of five gave themselves full marks for the food served to patients.

However, this deliberately contradicts figures put forward by an independent Care Quality Commission survey which showed half of patients were dissatisfied with hospital food, said the Campaign for Better Hospital Food.

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."

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National

Govt: Patients are 'best placed' to rate NHS food

Patients were "best placed" to decide what hospital food was good and what left a bad taste in their mouths, a Department of Health spokesman said.

He was speaking amidst claims hospital chiefs were awarding their hospital's food five stars while patients were dissatisfied with food.

However, the Department of Health also defended decisions made on hospital food "taken locally" by kitchen staff and ruled out legislating mandatory standards.

There are many fantastic examples of really good food across the NHS thanks to forward-thinking and innovative staff.

But we recognise that there is too much variation across the country - that is why we have implemented a tough new inspection programme...

We support the principle of food standards but do not think that legislation is the right way to proceed.

We believe that the best decisions on hospital food are those taken locally by chefs and catering managers.

Patients are the ones who consume hospital food and they are best placed to decide what is good and what is not.

– Department of Health spokesman