The Government has announced it will carry out a major review into the quality of food being served in NHS hospitals.
Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith will be involved, in hope of improving the health and taste of meals for all staff and patients.
Disgruntled patients have for years complained about meals plated up in hospitals, including greasy bacon and carrots that look like plastic.
But the new review, announced by the Department of Health and Social Care, will aim to offer options that do more to whet the appetite.
It follows six deaths due to a listeria outbreak from pre-packaged sandwiches and salads purchased on site or given out by hospital staff.
Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith will be involved, in hope of improving the health and taste of meals for all staff and patients
In hope of drastically improving NHS food, the review will assess whether kitchen facilities are in need of an upgrade.
It will also look closely at if more trusts can hire in-house chefs, to try and end the reliance on outsourced catering.
Ministers also hope to find a way for trusts to use less frozen food and buy more seasonal, fresh goods from local producers.
Around a fifth of all hot meals dished up at hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales are believed to come from private firm apetito.
It was revealed last month that the firm ships its food – that is cooked up to a year before it reaches hospitals – as far as 650miles (1050km) away.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock ordered a ‘root and branch’ review into hospital food in June, following the listeria deaths.
Patients are suspected to have died after eating pre-packaged sandwiches and salads linked to the same supplier, the Good Food Chain (file picture)
DO SOME TRUSTS ALREADY OFFER GOOD FOOD?
A hospital in Shropshire has achieved the highest score for food quality across the health service 13 times in the last 14 years.
The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry regularly tops the annual survey by inspectors at the CQC.
The hospital claims to work closely with an in-house dietitian to ensure all of its meals are healthy and nutritious.
Dan Hoggett, it’s catering manager, said: ‘High quality and nutritious food is essential for patients during their time in hospital
‘The whole team work extremely hard to ensure that’s exactly what they get.’
North Bristol NHS Trust uses local, fresh produce such as Somerset milk and sustainably sourced fish.
Andrea Young, its chief executive officer, said: ‘We all know how important food is to us.
‘Good food is a joy and can really promote great health and recovery. In hospital, good food becomes even more important.’
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Foundation Trust gives patients who are well enough the opportunity to eat in restaurants.
Eligible patients can exchange a voucher for a daily choice of three hot meals, desserts, tea and coffee served at tables with tablecloths.
Friends and family are encouraged to join the patients, with the promise of receiving a 10 per cent discount.
The Good Food Chain, which supplied the sandwiches, was based in Stone, Staffordshire
Six people died after contracting listeria from pre-packaged sandwiches and salads either purchased on site or given out by hospital staff.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his focus is to ensure the health service has everything it needs to continue providing the very best care.
WHAT IS THE REVIEW GOING TO LOOK AT?
In hope of drastically improving NHS food, the review will assess whether kitchen facilities across the health service are in need of an upgrade.
The Department of Health and Social Care review will also look closely at if more trusts can hire in-house chefs, to try and end the reliance on outsourced catering.
Ministers also hope to find a way for trusts to use less frozen food and buy more seasonal, fresh goods from local producers.
The review will also consider:
- How food can help aid faster recovery, taking into account the unique needs of vulnerable groups, to ensure patient meals provide the right nutritional value
- How national bodies can support the NHS to provide food services locally and reduce reliance on frozen or packaged foods
- New systems to monitor food safety and quality more transparently, including looking at how NHS Boards are held to account
- How the NHS can be a standard bearer for healthier choices for patients, staff and visitors, as part of improving the nation’s public health
- How the Government can support dedicated NHS staff by giving them more choice and making more healthy food options available, particularly for those working overnight shifts
- The whole supply chain – from ‘farm to fork’ – taking into account sustainability and environmental impact, to ensure the NHS is getting the best quality at the best value for the taxpayer
He said: ‘Our NHS has led the way since the day it was formed.
‘This review will ensure it remains the standard-bearer for healthy choices, as it works unstintingly to improve the nation’s well-being.
‘Since entering Downing Street, my focus has been clear – to make sure our world-class NHS has everything it needs to continue providing the very best frontline care.
‘Guaranteeing hospitals serve nutritional, tasty and fresh meals will not only aid patient recovery, but also fuel staff and visitors as they care for loved ones and the vulnerable.’
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock added: ‘We all know how important the food we eat is to our health.
‘We have a duty to ensure this same level of attention is given to the food served to patients in hospital, or our brilliant NHS staff working tirelessly for patients – and indeed to visitors.
‘When people are in hospital, they should be given all the help they can to get better – and that includes food.
‘So I’m determined patients enjoy the best, most delicious and nutritious food to help them recover and leave hospital as quickly as possible.’
Celebrity cook Leith has previously criticised the current standard of hospital meals and called for NHS trusts to make appealing and nutritious food on-site for patients.
She said: ‘Millions of pounds are wasted in hospitals with food ending up in the bin, unpalatable food being the main complaint.
‘I’m delighted that at long last Downing Street and the Department of Health have decided to do something about it.
‘A hospital meal should be a small highlight, a little pleasure and comfort, and it should help, not hinder, the patient’s recovery.’
Meat for the sandwiches was produced by North Country Cooked Meats, based in Salford, Greater Manchester
The NHS serves more than 140million meals to patients across the country every year. And nearly 1.3million staff work in the health service.
HOW DID THE LISTERIA SCANDAL UNFOLD?
March 25: Enid Heap, 84, admitted to Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI)
April 15: Beverley Sowah, 57, also admitted
April 26: Beverley Sowah dies
May 6: Enid Heap dies
May 16: Public Health England (PHE) tells MRI the listeria strains which infected Mrs Sowah and Mrs Heap are linked
May 20: Inquest on Mrs Sowah opened and concluded, death given as natural causes
May 24: PHE identifies the infected patients all ate sandwiches supplied by Good Food Chain
May 25: All hospitals told to withdraw Good Food Chain sandwiches
May 29: MRI informs coroner in Manchester that the deaths of Mrs Heap and Mrs Sowah are linked to an outbreak
June 7: North Country Cooked Meat named as the source; six infection cases and three deaths
June 8: Mr Hitchcock dies at Nottingham City Hospital
June 12: Manchester coroner serves court order on PHE and Food Standards Agency to supply information – they do on June 17
June 14: PHE reveals cases of infection have risen to nine; five deaths
June 17: Health Secretary Matt Hancock reveals eight hospitals affected, promises hospital food review
June 26: Food Standards Agency tells Good Food Chain it does not believe the firm is the source of the outbreak
June 27: Good Food Chain announces it is going into liquidation, meaning the loss of 125 jobs. The inquiry into the outbreak is now focused on North Country Cooked Meats in Salford
August 1: PHE announces a sixth person has died
According to NHS Employers, ‘it is likely’ that around 300,000 of the NHS’ 1.2million staff are obese and a further 400,000 are overweight.
Hospitals have already managed to cut out the equivalent of 10million spoonfuls of sugar from drinks in their canteens under Government measures.
And they can no longer sell family-sized chocolate bars or big bags of sweets unless they want to be denied access to extra funding.
However, an audit of NHS vendors in May found three quarters of the foods most often bought by hospital visitors are unhealthy and high in fat or sugar.
The food review will be led by Philip Shelley, former head of the Hospital Caterers Association – an organisation founded shortly after the NHS was created in 1948.
Officials said it will draw on the expertise of hospital caterers, patient groups, suppliers and kitchen staff across the country.
The final report is expected to be published in January 2020.
Mr Shelley said: ‘This is an opportunity for positive change and to address current issues as we drive the safety of food and progressive standards for our patients.
‘It is vital that we use the evidence from excellent case studies around the country that prove what a difference food can make in empowering patient recovery.’
Health Minister Jo Churchill said: ‘What we eat has an enormous effect on our overall health and wellbeing and there are few places where this is more important than in our hospitals.
‘I want our NHS to be able to make the most of the great variety of fresh, seasonal produce available in this country to provide appetising options which contain all a patient needs to help them on the road to recovery.
‘Our dedicated staff deserve the same choice of quality, healthy, and sustaining meals to see them through a busy shift.’
Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association said: ‘We are pleased to see a full review of hospital food being undertaken.’
She added that she hopes ‘it leads to more nutritious and nourishing meals to help patients with their recovery’.
‘We know from our own work in this area how important it is to patients that they have access to good, high quality food.
‘For the sake of their recovery and for their enjoyment, people should be able to look forward to their meals, particularly when dealing with the pressures and worries that a stay in hospital can bring, even with the best of care.’
Rob Percival, head of food policy at the Soil Association said: ‘Imagine if every hospital in England was serving fresh, healthy and sustainable meals.
‘Imagine if the buying power of the NHS was harnessed towards environmentally sustainable food production, tackling climate change, and providing markets for UK farmers.’
THE DEPRESSING PROOF ‘HOME COOKED’ DOES NOT MAKE HOSPITAL FOOD ANY EASIER TO STOMACH
By Judith Keeling for The Daily Mail
1. Sausage, bacon & potato croquettes
The patient: Jaclyn Chidwick, 31, from Ayrshire, spent four nights in University Hospital Crosshouse, Kilmarnock, with asthma and breathing problems.
She suffers from Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease, and has difficulties digesting many foods.
Hospital catering: All meals are cooked on site. Patient surveys conducted by the hospital show 85 per cent satisfaction with the food.
Sausage, bacon and potato croquettes, which was served to Crohn’s disease sufferer Jaclyn Chidwick, 31, at Crosshouse hospital in Ayrshire, was branded greasy, fatty and unappealing by our expert dietician Hannah Whittaker
Patient’s verdict: Having Crohn’s makes it a challenge to eat properly as so many foods cause flare-ups.
On one occasion I had to ask for a plain baked potato just so I could eat something. It was awful.
Expert verdict: Greasy, fatty and unappealing, and nutritionally not beneficial to any patient.
There are no vegetables.
Patients with breathing difficulties need more calories because they have a higher respiration rate but this meal doesn’t look adequate for this either.
2. Cheese omelette, baked beans, sauté potatoes
With side salad; vanilla yoghurt; tinned apricots; juice
The patient: Nia Williams, 37, a singer, lives in Caerphilly near Cardiff. She spent two nights in Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, with a head injury.
Cheese omelette, baked beans, sauté potatoes was served to Nia Williams, 37, at Royal Gwent Hospital, in Newport, Wales
Hospital catering: Meals are prepared in-house. The hospital has a five-star rating from the Food Standards Agency.
Patient’s verdict: A nurse came round each morning and offered a number of options. Food was made to order and was very tasty.
Expert verdict: This meal offers a good variety of protein, carbohydrates, veg and fruit, though the egg looks a little rubbery and portions may be too large for a patient with a small appetite.
3. Beans, pasty and potato wedges
With bread roll; banana; juice
The patient: Chloe Edges, 33, lives in Grimsby and runs cookery website feastgloriousfeast.com. She was in Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital, Grimsby, for eight days to investigate her persistent headaches.
Hospital catering: Prepared by outside catering firm Apetito and reheated by hospital staff on the ward. In 2018 the food got a 96 per cent rating, according to the national external audit, the Patient-Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE).
This meal consisting of beans, a pasty and potato wedges was served to Chloe Edges, 33, at Diana Princess of Wales Hospital, in Grimsby
Patient verdict: This was one of the best meals I had in the hospital. We had a menu to choose from at every meal and those beans were supposed to go with a jacket potato but I asked for them with my pasty instead. I chose a banana for dessert but it was too green to be edible. Nearly everything I ate was tasty but it didn’t always look great, especially the stews.
Expert verdict: This looks great. The wedges are crispy, there’s an adequate portion of beans, which count as one of your five-a-day, and the pasty, while possibly off-puttingly large for someone with a small appetite, helps make the meal energy-dense.
4. Minced beef, carrots and potatoes
With ice cream
The patient: Simon Cook, 38, is a fireman. He was in Royal Glamorgan Hospital, South Wales, for three days for sinus problems.
Hospital catering: Food produced by in-house catering team off site and reheated on site.
Minced beef, carrots and potatoes were served to Simon Cook, 38, at Royal Glamorgan Hospital
Patient’s verdict: The food was very hit and miss and seemed to vary greatly in standard. This particular meal wasn’t very nice. The food on other days was better and sometimes quite enjoyable. Dessert on this particular day was a tub of ice cream.
Expert verdict: While this is a balanced meal nutritionally, it looks to be very poor quality. The potatoes look dry and overcooked, the mince looks like slop and the carrots look plastic. Its appearance might be off-putting for anyone with a small appetite or experiencing nausea.
5. Veggie meatballs, roast potatoes & veg
The patient: Ingrid Lewis, 71, lives in Cuffley, Hertfordshire. She was in Barnet General Hospital for five days after being admitted as an emergency and fitted with a pacemaker.
Hospital catering: Outsourced to Medirest and ‘microsteamed’ on site. Last PLACE rating (see box 3) was 88 per cent.
Veggie meatballs, roast potatoes and veg were served to Ingrid Lewis, 71, at Barnet General Hospital
Patient’s verdict: The food was quite awful. I felt very unwell and wanted something light and nutritious but just looking at this made me feel ill!
The meatballs were beyond bad, the broccoli was burnt and the potatoes hard. Another day I had a cheese sandwich which was pre-packed and bland.
Expert verdict: Oh dear! This looks more like someone’s leftovers.
It is adequate nutritionally — protein, vegetables and carbohydrate — but the vegetables look as if they’ve been overcooked and the presentation is very poor.
I’m not surprised the patient found it inedible.
6. Tomato soup and quiche
With caramel yoghurt
The patient: David Demetriou-Smith, 30, a social worker, was in Leighton Hospital, Cheshire, for two days with flu-like symptoms following a trip to Uganda.
Hospital catering: All hot meals cooked fresh on site. PLACE assessments provide ‘continuously good results’.
Tomato soup and quiche was served to David Demetriou-Smith, 30, at Leighton Hospital, Cheshire
Patient’s verdict: The food was fantastic. You had several choices for lunch and dinner, served hot by catering staff. I felt well fed and nourished.
Expert verdict: The quiche looks rubbery, but the portion size is suitable. It’s nutritionally balanced with protein and carbohydrate and one of your five-a-day in the soup. I’d just question how high it is in salt with the cheese and the pastry.
7. Sausage casserole
With cauliflower & apple soup; ice cream
The patient: Derek Becket, 79, lives in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire. He has been in Withybush Hospital, South Wales, for three weeks. He had his right leg amputated in June and is undergoing further tests.
Hospital catering: Prepared by in-house team.
Sausage casserole with cauliflower and apple soup and ice cream was served to Derek Becket, 79, at Withybush Hospital in South Wales
Patient’s verdict: I lost a lot of weight over the past few months during various hospital stays as I just didn’t like the food.
I would eat vegetable soup but I wouldn’t have cauliflower and apple.
The casserole had mushrooms in and I don’t eat mushrooms, and the scoop of potato is like being at school.
Expert verdict: This meal is nutritionally balanced, with protein in the sausages, vegetable and fruit in the soup and carbohydrate in the ice cream.
Some people would love this combination, but it’s possibly too ambitious in terms of the flavours they’ve chosen to tempt elderly patients.
Such patients usually need simple, home-cooked food in small portions to encourage them to eat.
8. Pork chop, mashed potato, green beans
With stewed pears
The patient: Dean Moyce, 57, a retired security worker, lives in Brockley, South London. He was in University Hospital, Lewisham, for six weeks suffering from sepsis.
Hospital catering: Outsourced to catering company Interserve, 2018 PLACE rating was 92.7 per cent.
Pork chop, mashed potato and green beans with stewed pears as a dessert was served to Dean Moyce, 57, at University Hospital in Lewisham
Patient’s verdict: This meal with a pork chop was one of the better ones, although the pears were hard. Overall, I’m sorry to say I didn’t feel well fed. A lot of the food was inedible.
Expert verdict: Presentation is perfect, and this good, balanced meal appears to be cooked well and looks very appetising.
Tinned fruit is perfectly acceptable so long as it’s in fruit juice and not syrup.
9. Turkey salad
The patient: Sarah Dunkley, 32, a stay-at-home mother from Dartford in Kent, was in Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford for three days after a Caesarean following the birth of her second child.
Hospital catering: Outsourced to caterers Tillery Valley. The hospital’s 2018 PLACE score was 82.17.
Turkey salad was served to Sarah Dunkley, 32, at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford
Patient’s verdict: The food was poor. I’m diabetic and follow a low-carb diet, so my choices were incredibly limited.
My husband ended up bringing me meals in for breakfast and lunch.
For dessert, I was offered a choice of sponge cake with custard or ice cream, but I had to refuse both as it wasn’t in line with my low-carb diet.
Expert verdict: A nice salad, although the turkey looks as though it’s processed and high in salt, and the broccoli looks overcooked, which means it will have lost some of its nutrients.
The portion size is adequate but some boiled potatoes or pasta to provide carbohydrates would have been a good addition.
- Benidorm on steroids! Cornish locals say they are 'too scared' to go food shopping as visitors ignore social distancing and pour down narrow streets
- Capita will shut up to 100 offices: Devastating blow to PM’s campaign to get Britain back to workplaces as top government contractor with 45,000 staff plans massive shift to permanent home working
- Eat Out to Help Out scheme 'smashes 80million-meal barrier' at a £400m cost to the taxpayer, after diners endured three-hours queues for last chance to enjoy Rishi Sunak's discount
- Luton is made the UK's latest 'area of intervention' after spike in coronavirus cases - meaning gyms and leisure sites will stay closed this weekend when the rest of the nation opens up
- Donald Trump will call Joe Biden 'extreme' and claim he is 'undoing 47 years of Biden's damage' while hammering Democratic rival in RNC speech to crowd of 1,500 at the White House
- VIETNAM'S BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES AUGUST 28
- VIETNAM'S BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES AUGUST 29
- Britain's health divide: From cancer and Covid to dementia and childbirth, black and ethnic minority patients are shamefully more at risk. And worst of all? We STILL don’t know why
- How we spent our summer not-vacations
- 'You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America!' Mike Pence accuses Democratic candidate of failing to stand by 'the thin blue line' and planning to deliver socialism as he delivers RNC speech at Fort McHenry and says Donald Trump will bring 'law and order'
- The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Pence rips Biden as radical risk
- Obama press conference and Nancy Pelosi announcement – as it happened
- New Diabetes Solution In Nigeria: See The Solution I used to completely normalise my blood sugar/glucose level and have also saved me from Amputation.
Government launches review into food served in NHS hospitals in the wake of listeria deaths linked to pre-packaged sandwiches - and Great British Bake Off’s Prue Leith will act as an advisor have 3635 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at August 23, 2019. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.