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New hospitals to offer 24-hour food service to patients

Kate Devlin
·2-min read
 (Reuters TV)
(Reuters TV)

Every new hospital Boris Johnson has promised to build in England is to have a 24-hour kitchen that will allow patients to have a snack in the middle of the night.

The move comes after a review of food safety and nutrition in the NHS, carried out by advisors including Bake Off’s Prue Leith.

The department of health will also argue that other hospitals across the country should be similarly upgraded, but no decision is expected until the next governmental spending review, sources said.

Mr Johnson has pledged to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, although that figure has proven controversial with critics who claim some will merely be refurbished.

Inside they will feature ward kitchens and patient dining spaces as well as a 24/7 service that will allow new mums on a maternity ward or patients recovering from surgery a hot drink and a snack in early hours of the morning.

Other hospitals will have to wait for potential upgrades to their facilities, however.

Today health secretary Matt Hancock will announce an expert group of NHS caterers, dietitians and nurses to take forward the recommendations made in the review.

Mr Hancock said: “This pandemic has demonstrated more than ever the importance of good food and proper nutrition.

“Across the NHS and in the 40 new hospitals we are set to build I want to ensure … that we deliver really good hospital food.”

Ms Leith said hospital mealtimes should be “a moment of enjoyment and a pleasure to serve. They should inspire staff, patients and visitors to eat well at home.”

More than over 140 million meals are served to NHS patients every year.

Another 1.25 million members of staff that require nourishment while on shift, the review points out.

Just 58 per cent of patients rate hospital food as very good or good.

And 39 per cent of hospital staff feel that the food and catering facilities in their workplaces are poor.

The review was launched after am outbreak of listeriosis last year.

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