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New food standards for the region's hospitals

Hospital food is set to improve

Hospitals across the West will be expected to comply with new food standards, the government has announced.

A report by the Hospital Food Standards Panel, led by Dianne Jeffrey, Chairman of Age UK, is recommending five legally-binding food standards for the NHS, which has worked with royal colleges and nutritional experts to come up with the new rules. It comes after recent criticism of food standards at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

1 in 10 parents skip meals to feed their children

Families in the South West are struggling to deal with rising costs of living. A mother from Bristol describes how she has to find savings on food in order to meet household costs.

The charity Shelter claims that more than a third of working parents are cutting back on food spending to cope with increasing housing costs. With 1 in 10 even skipping meals.

What we need to see the Government do is make sure the safety net is strong, so if people lose their jobs, or their income falls off a cliff they don't lose their homes straight away, and can take that chance to get back on their feet.

– Shelter

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Eating tomatoes can reduce the risk of prostate cancer

Men who eat more than 10 portions a week of tomatoes have an 18% lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Credit: Paul Mayall / PA

Research by the University of Bristol has found that eating tomatoes could reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Men who eat more than 10 portions a week have an 18% lower risk of developing the disease.

Researchers looked at the diets and lifestyles of more than 13,000 men aged between 50 and 69.

10,000 men in the UK die from prostate cancer every year.

Southmead Hospital food portions criticised

A patient who was treated at Bristol's new flagship hospital has criticised the food he was given, saying he was frequently left hungry by tiny portions.

Steven Williams, from Weston-super-Mare, was at Southmead Hospital after having an operation on his feet.

He says he relied on food brought in by relatives.

Katie Rowlett reports:

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Key findings from report into neglect of children

The report by the Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board, the agencies involved outlined the lessons they needed to learn as a result of the case. Here are their key findings:

  • Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children's Board itself says it is improving training and support for professionals who work with children
  • Gloucestershire County Council emphasises the importance of responding to neglect accusations as rigorously as it responds to physical and sexual abuse. It also says the council must consider why parents are refusing statutory intervention for their children.
  • The District Council says it is working to improve communication between its services, including between housing staff who enter tenant properties for various purposes
  • Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust says it will ensure that children's views are fully taken into account when making decisions about their care, and that their staff will receive more training on recognition of neglect
  • Gloucestershire Police says its staff too will receive more training in neglect recognition

Report says children should have been helped sooner

The children lived in squalid conditions Credit: ITV News

Four children who were subjected to years of neglect by their parents should have been taken into care far earlier, according to a report out today. The children who were from Gloucestershire, lived in squalid conditions and were infested with lice. The mother and father were each jailed for two years in June.

A report by the Safeguarding Children Board found that the authorities should have taken tougher action to help the children.

The motivation was to support the parents, who themselves had all sorts of issues of their own, to improve the way that they were caring for their children to make it better. I think we can all see now and it's clear from the review that actually the level of neglect was at a level where these children needed to be removed earlier.

– David McCallum, Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board
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