The Department of Health and Social Care has just announced that the NHS will collaborate with the government to improve food quality in hospitals and provide consistently safe, nutritious and tasty food.
The review will consider:
- How food can help aid faster recovery, considering the unique needs of vulnerable groups
- Support from national bodies such as the Soil Association and National Caterers Association to source food services locally and reduce reliance on frozen or packaged foods
- New systems to monitor food safety and quality more transparently, including looking at how NHS boards are held to account
- How the NHS can be a standard-bearer for healthier choices for patients, staff and visitors
- More healthy food options for NHS staff, particularly for those working overnight shifts
- Sustainability and environmental impact of the whole supply chain
- Ensuring quality and value for the taxpayer
Over 140 million meals are served to patients, annually and the quality and nutritional value of these meals can vary significantly. This review will provide new national standards for healthcare food for patients, staff and visitors - developed by NHS England, NHS Improvement and Public Health England (PHE) as outlined in PHE’s Eatwell guide. The review will also look at how to increase the number of hospitals with their own kitchens and who have their own chefs.