New standards have been developed by the Department of Health and Age UK concerning the quality of food supplied to hospital patients in England.
Hospitals will be ranked according to quality and choice of food provided, and rankings will be published on the NHS Choices website. Ratings of the quality of hospital food are based on the following criteria:
- Quality of food.
- Choice of food.
- Menus approved by dietitians.
- Fresh fruit availability.
- Food between meals availability.
- Cost of food services (per patient per day).
Patients are to be assessed for malnutrition on admission. More responsibility will be placed on staff to ensure patients are well-fed.
A Department of Health report specifies these standards relating to patient nutrition and hydration, healthy eating in hospitals and sustainable food / catering services. Hospitals will have a legal duty to comply with the recommendations.
Gallagher, J. (2014). New hospital food rules introduced. London: BBC Health News, August 29th 2014.
This relates to:
The Hospital Food Standards Panel’s report on standards for food and drink in NHS hospitals: an independent group established by the Department of Health and led by Dianne Jeffrey, chairman of Age UK. London: Department of Health, August 28th 2014.
Possibly also of interest is a broad overview (including videos):
Better hospital food for NHS patients, visitors and staff. London: Department of Health, August 29th 2014.