NHS hospitals spending more on patient food18th October 2012
New figures have revealed that the health service in the UK is spending more on patient food than it has ever done.
Department of Health statistics have revealed the average amount spent per patient per day on food has increased by almost 10% over the past two years to £8.77.
This is up from £8.58 in 2010/11 and £8.06 in 2009/10.
Despite this overall rise, a breakdown of the figures has also shown there are still significant regional variations on patient food costs.
In some areas this is as high as £15.65 spent per patient on food, which is £10 more than the lowest spending hospital.
Across the NHS, the cost of food remains at less than 0.5% of the NHS budget.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has launched a new drive to improve the quality of food in hospitals which aims to cut fat and salt levels and see more fruit and vegetables offered on menus.
He said: “Patients need high quality, nutritious food – this is a crucial part of their care, particularly for older patients. The figures show while the NHS is spending more on food as a whole, costs vary wildly across the country.
“What’s not clear is whether when the price drops, quality drops too. I want to find out if there is a link between what is spent and the quality of food delivered; and if not, why not.”
Pilot inspections of hospital food have already begun in some places with hospitals due to receive ratings which will be published online.
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Title: NHS hospitals spending more on patient food
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 22980
Date Added: 18th Oct 2012