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Wales Audit Office releases nutritional guide for hospital patients

Eating Well in Hospital launched at all-Wales hospital catering seminar.
The Wales Audit Office has today released guidance to help patients know what they should expect from catering and nutrition services in Welsh hospitals.

Launched at the Wales Audit Offices ‘Food for Thought’ seminar, the guidance draws on knowledge from the report Hospital Catering and Patient Nutrition which was published by the Auditor General in March this year.  That report showed that whilst there was evidence that hospitals were continuing to improve their catering and patient nutrition services, more needed to be done to ensure that patients’ dietary needs were being met during their hospital stay.

The guidance provides information for patients and their relatives on what hospitals should be doing to assess the dietary needs of inpatients, and provide a good choice of healthy nutritional meals to ensure those needs are met.
It also offers advice on what to do if these needs are not met and stresses the importance of talking to hospital staff to resolve these issues quickly.

The Wales Audit Office will launch the guidance at its ‘Food for Thought’ shared learning seminar, an event which is being attended by over 60 delegates from across the NHS in Wales and which brings together practitioners from different disciplines s to share their experiences and good practice in hospital catering. The outputs of the seminar are to be published on the Good Practice Exchange section of the Wales Audit Office website.

Huw Vaughan Thomas, Auditor General for Wales said today:
“We hope this guidance will enable patients and their relatives to understand the importance of good nutrition in aiding recovery during a hospital stay and what they can do if they feel their dietary needs are not being met. We also feel that there are some great examples of good practice to be shared and I’m really pleased that so many colleagues from the NHS have been able to attend and take advantage of the learning opportunities that the seminar provides. We hope that the ideas and information gathered by those attending will be translated into improved services for the benefits of patients.”

Notes to Editors:

  • The Food for Thought seminar, hosted by the Wales Audit Office, will provide an informal environment where practitioners from across NHS Wales can share information with colleagues on how they are addressing the challenges highlighted in the Auditor General’s report on Hospital Catering and Patient Nutrition, published in March of this year.
  • The Wales Audit Office is committed to improving public services across Wales by helping organisations find good practice and implement it. Because of our unique position in Wales, which involves a relationship with every public body, we can observe good practice in one organisation and identify other organisations where its application might be beneficial. 
  • Visit the Good Practice Exchange at http://www.wao.gov.uk/goodpracticeexchange.asp
  • The Wales Audit Office was created in April 2005 through the Public Audit (Wales) Act, 2004, which expanded the functions of the Auditor General for Wales and enabled the transfer of staffs from the Audit Commission in Wales and National Audit Office in Wales to his employment.
  • The Wales Audit Office is independent of government and is responsible for the annual audit of some £20 billion of annual public expenditure.
  • Its mission is to promote improvement, so that people in Wales benefit from accountable, well-managed public services that offer the best possible value for money. It is also committed to identify and spreading good practice across the Welsh public sector.



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