Campaigners have criticised the NHS for hiding patient and family dissatisfaction with the quality of food provided in hospitals.
The Campaign for Better Hospital Food said that despite reports from the NHS that their food was rated highly, patients are routinely dissatisfied with the taste and quality. NHS staff in England have carried out annual assessments of the quality of hospital food, reporting that in 2011 they rated nearly 98% of meals as "good" or "excellent".
The results of patient surveys however offer a different view of hospital food, showing that nearly half of people polled were dissatisfied with what they were offered to eat. A survey of more than 64,000 patients carried out by the Care Quality Commission earlier this year saw just 55% of patients reporting that the food they had been served was "good".
Alex Jackson, co-ordinator of the Campaign for Better Hospital Food, said "It is time for the government to come clean about the sorry state of hospital food in England and set mandatory standards for patient meals. This would only involve extending an existing policy which has seen it set mandatory standards for prison food and food served in government departments, to go alongside those that already exist for school food”.
In a statement, a spokesman for the Department of Health in England said there were many examples of good food across the NHS, “but we recognise that there is too much variation across the country - that is why we have implemented a tough new inspection programme. We support the principle of food standards but do not think that legislation is the right way to proceed.”
Original Source BBC News
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