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Hospital food 'unappealing'

16th October 2006

05052006_mealtime.jpgHospital patients are refusing to eat their food because it often looks, smells and tastes unappealing, says a new report.

The Food Watch survey of more than 2000 patients in England reported more than 40 per cent were turning to food being brought in by visitors instead, while a third abandoned their food unfinished.

For those unable to eat unaided, more than a quarter did not receive any help, while more than a fifth said their meals were too hot or too cold. More than 80 per cent said they had no choice of meals in advance, while 18 per cent of those who did, failed to get the meal they had requested.

Nutrition is a vital part of a patient’s recovery, say the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health, which is now asking the government to improve food standards.

Surveys were carried out by members of Patient and Public Involvement Forums at almost 100 hospitals across England. While some discovered food of a good standard, the forums were shocked by the comments of some patients.

The government defended the NHS, saying food have improved significantly in recent years and quoted the recent independent Healthcare Commission findings that more than 95 per cent of hospitals were meeting the core standards of hospital food.

The findings of the commission’s report will now be sent to Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt.





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