Department of Health and Social Care: Independent review of NHS hospital food

On 26 October the government published an independent report showing the findings and recommendations of the independent review of NHS hospital food.

The report highlights the main challenges for NHS catering and makes recommendations covering:

  • Workforce
  • Nutrition and hydration
  • Food safety
  • Facilities
  • Technology
  • Sustainability
  • Enforcing standards
  • The way forward to improving hospital food for patients, staff and visitors

The report can be found here.

On 26 October the government issued a press release titled new blueprint for better hospital food. The press release explains that Millions of NHS patients and staff will benefit from tastier, healthier and better-quality meals following the independent review of hospital food.

The changes planned include:

  • Upgrading hospital kitchens so a 24/7 service can be provided to everyone; from a hot drink and a snack in the middle of the night to a hot meal for new mums in a maternity ward or for patients hungry after a long fast due to surgery, plus facilities for staff to store, prepare and eat food at any time during the day or night
  • Introducing digital menus and food ordering systems which can factor in a patient’s dietary and cultural requirements, and nutritional needs. This will improve communication between dietitians and caterers, reduce food waste and provide patients with the right food for recovery
  • Agreeing national professional standards for NHS chefs with mandatory professional development, including appropriate compulsory food hygiene and allergen training
  • Increasing the role of nurses, dietitians, caterers and staff wellbeing leads in overseeing food services so that nutritious meals are part of a patient’s recovery plan

The press release can be found here.