In health news this week the BBC has discovered that hospital food is not very popular with patients. A survey of 200 health trusts across the UK revealed that on average 8% of food was being returned uneaten, and costing the NHS potentially millions in revenue
every year. This is almost as much as hospital managers, who received a 6.4% pay increase in 2009 compared to nursing staff, who gained 2.2%.
These shocking revelations come at a time when spending cuts are a government priority, and raise the question, is the NHS simply feeding patients too much? Surely if they only had one meal a week then they would be hungry enough to eat more of what was served and reduce wastage? Of course we at Newsnibbles are not economists, and there are probably much more cost effective ways to deal with the problem, like making the food more appealing that we simply haven’t considered as laymen.
One hospital spokesperson from Manchester suggested to the BBC that some of the wastage was due to staff being “over-generous” when it came to ordering patients’ food in a bid to encourage them to eat. Doubtless this will need to be dealt with more strictly from now on. The report did not mention how much the survey on the cost of hospital food cost to conduct; probably a couple of platefuls.
We asked our fans on our Facebook fanpage (www.facebook.com/newsnibbles) what their experiences of hospital food were. Denise Davis from Yorkshire had this to tell us:
“Back in 2006 I was readmitted after complications and in for 3 weeks and the food was fine. I didn’t have much of an appetite at first, but it was good food, but then I had BUPA cover and went private, so I got to choose from a different menu to the regular NHS one. Does that count?”
Of course it counts, and is much more relevant than most people we quote here. Kudos Denise.
You can read the original story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15242319