Loyd Grossman has responded to the Good Food for Our Money campaign's "A Decade of Hospital Food Failure" report by attacking the government for failing to show political leadership needed to improve hospital food. The celebrity chef was appointed by the NHS in 2001 to revamp hospital menus as part of the 'Better Hospital Food Initiative'. The £40m project was scrapped in 2006 and criticised for being weak and ineffective.
He said: "I remain totally convinced that improving hospital catering would bring great benefits to many millions of patients. My colleagues and I were frustrated and disappointed that there was neither the political will nor sufficient resources to improve hospital food. During the five years I worked voluntarily and without pay for the NHS, I reported to five different ministers: such high ministerial turnover means that you are constantly reselling ideas to the top team. It is a scandal that improving hospital catering remains far from the top of the NHS agenda."
Alex Jackson, co-ordinator of the Good Food for Our Money campaign, said: "Loyd Grossman worked very hard to improve hospital food but was badly let down by the government, who were more interested in getting media headlines than making a lasting improvement to hospital food. The government spent more than £50m of taxpayers' money on failed voluntary projects to improve hospital food in the last decade. It must now act to introduce mandatory standards for all hospital food to ensure it is healthy, good for the environment and delicious to eat."
The Good Food for Our Money campaign's report 'A decade of hospital food failure: A review of ten years' of failed voluntary initiatives to improve hospital food' can be downloaded here.
Notes to Editor
The Good Food for Our Money campaign is calling on government to introduce mandatory health and sustainability standards for public sector food. The government spends £2billion on public sector food each year that is harmful to our health and damaging to the environmment. The campaign is calling on government to introduce mandatory health and sustainability standards for public sector food to ensure taxpayers' money is spent on food that helps solve urgent social and economic problems, rather than create them in the first place. This would include creating jobs in rural economies by buying more local produce and reducing diet-related ill health by serving nutritious food.
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Published 14 Jan 2010
Good Food for Our Money Campaign: The Good Food for Our Money campaign ran from 2008 to 2011. After several notable successes, this campaign has now evolved to focus on winning healthy and sustainable food standards for hospital food, in parallel with Sustain's existing work on the Children's Food Campaign to secure healthy and sustainable food standards for school meals.
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