Hospitals 'spend under £5 on day's meals'
Published on 12 January 2012 02:00 PM
As little as £2.57 is spent to feed and water patients on a daily basis in some NHS hospitals, according to research.
The NHS Information Centre revealed that the equivalent of 86p is used for each individual meal.
The findings showed that more than 30 hospital trusts, which is around 10% of the total, fork out under £5 a day for the three meals a patient will be given.
It also indicated that there are disparities between what is spent on individual patients depending on where in the country they are being treated.
Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust is among those who spend the least (£2.57), closely followed by Harrow Primary Care Trust with around £2.75 spent on a day's meals.
North West London Hospital NHS Trust spends moderately more, with £3.13 and Herefordshire PCT pays £3.66 per patient for their daily meals.
Katherine Murphy from the Patients Association told the Daily Telegraph that health bosses need to pay more attention to the food given to patients.
She said: 'Sadly, catering is not seen as a priority by the NHS, but it's a false economy.'
Health Minister Simon Burns said: 'All patients deserve basic standards of care when they are in hospital and good food is one of them.
'We have set binding standards for good hydration and nutrition as part of a hospital's registration with the regulator.'
Copyright Press Association 2012