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The NHS will have mandatory food standards and hospitals will be ranked on food quality, as part of a wide-ranging drive to raise standards of hospital food across the country.

The Hospital Food Standards Panel, led by Dianne Jeffrey, Chairman of Age UK, has published its report to the Government and recommends five legally-binding food standards for the NHS. The panel has worked with a range of organisations, including royal colleges and nutritional experts. 

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said,

Whilst great advances have been made in medicine and surgery, hospital food has sadly been ignored. For too long now patients have been offered unappetising, unacceptable food in our hospitals.

It is vitally important that people in hospital get a balanced diet – otherwise they will only have to stay in hospital longer, at extra cost to the NHS. It is no surprise that so many people talk to us about the quality of hospital food. Patients don’t expect restaurant-quality meals, but they do expect and deserve decent and nutritious food. For many patients who are in and out of hospital receiving regular treatment, the meal is often the only thing they have to look forward to.

We are encouraged that the NHS will now have mandatory food standards and that hospitals will be ranked on the quality of their food. However, it remains to be seen if hospitals are able to deliver these standards given the strain that already exists on their finances. Hospital food must be given greater priority and appropriate investment.

Notes for Editors

The Patients Association is an independent national health and social care charity established over 50 years ago and has a long history of campaigning to ensure that the voice of patients is heard within the Health and Social care system.

  1. The Patients Association is a campaigning charity, listening to patients and speaking up for change. It has been working for over 50 years to make sure that the patient voice is heard and listened to by policy makers.
  2. For further information please contact the Patients Association on 02084239111 or on comms@patients-association.com.
  3. To see more information on the Patients Association visit www.patients-association.com
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