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NHS food not good enough

27th June 2007

Broadcaster and food expert Loyd Grossman, who in the past was drafted in to reform NHS menus, has accused government ministers of failing to take the nutrition of hospital patients seriously.

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Mr Grossman said a long line of health ministers had failed to give sufficient political commitment to improving food within the NHS.

Speaking to Nursing Standard magazine, the broadcaster who is known for his Masterchef role, was drafted in to head the government’s £40m Better Hospital Food Programme which was launched in 2001 and ran for five years.

But it failed to have an impact with nurses criticising the menus and the Hospital Caterers Association branding them too expensive.

Mr Grossman, who said he reported to five different ministers in five years, told the journal that this had been a missed opportunity to improve NHS food.

“With a ministerial turnaround like that, it is difficult to make sure the political will to take hospital food seriously exists,? said Mr Grossman, who claims his work with the NHS had left him reluctant to get involved in similar projects without a guarantee that they would be taken seriously.

“Ideally I would like to see hospitals preparing fresh food in their own kitchens. But the most important thing is food quality,? he added. “Hospital catering is a complex issue and a series of small, unspectacular steps would create lasting value.?

Mr Grossman believes the NHS should centralise power when purchasing food, rather than delegating down to local level.

The Department of Health said hospital food had improved greatly over the past few years.

 

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Article Information

Title: NHS food not good enough
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 3268
Date Added: 27th Jun 2007

Sources

BBC News

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