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The quest to improve the quality of hospital food for patients

24 October 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 19


Emeritus Professor Alan Glasper, from the University of Southampton, discusses an initiative by the Government to review and improve the nutritional quality of hospital food

Following the deaths of six people linked to an outbreak of listeria in contaminated food earlier in 2019 the Government has launched the Hospital Food Review (Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), 2019), with a clear ambition to deliver high-quality and safe food to patients and members of the public who use the NHS to improve public confidence.

One of my earliest memories as a student nurse in the late 1960s was helping to serve lunch to patients on an orthopaedic ward. The dinner trolley always arrived from the hospital kitchen at 12 noon. The ward sister duly portioned the food on to plates ready for delivery to patients by the student nurses or cadet nurses who would help patients who were too frail to eat themselves. The food had been freshly prepared in the hospital kitchen, although from memory there was little choice and no vegetarian option.

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