Campaigners today called on Health Secretary Andrew Lansley MP to introduce legally binding standards for hospital food in England after a new survey revealed that eight out of ten people would support the measure .
The survey also found that the vast majority of people (seven out of ten ) are unaware that, from January 2012, hospital food in Wales will have to meet nutritional standards but hospital food in England will not . These new Welsh standards for hospital food mean that patients in Wales will only be served food which meets strict nutritional standards, including limits on saturated fat and salt. They will also be guaranteed plentiful servings of fruit and vegetables.
The survey was carried out by the Good Food for Our Money campaign which represents a coalition of more than sixty national organisations including National Heart Forum, Patient Concern and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health . The campaign is calling on the Government to follow Wales’ lead and set obligatory nutritional standards for all food served in English hospitals.
The survey follows the publication of a hospital food report in October 2011 which revealed that one in every ten meals served in hospitals in England are returned to the kitchen uneaten, costing the NHS £22 million every year .
Alex Jackson, Co-ordinator of the Good Food for Our Money campaign, said: “Introducing legally binding standards for hospital food in England is the simplest and most effective way to improve patients’ meals. It’s unacceptable that hospital patients in Wales will be guaranteed healthy meals but patients in England will not. Andrew Lansley must listen to the people and introduce these standards as a matter of urgency”.
For enquiries, please contact Alex Jackson on 0203 5596 777 or 07734 902909.
Notes to Editor
 ‘Hospital food’ survey of 1,000 participants completed using Toluna Quick online. www.tolunaquick.com/registerq?camp=sustainactivity
Q1 Did you know that food served in hospitals in England does not have to meet any compulsory standards? (e.g. standards to limit saturated fat and salt content, make sure chicken is antibiotic free and coffee is fairly traded) YES - 27.43%; NO - 72.44%; OTHER - 0.13%
Q2 Hospital food in Wales has to meet compulsory health (i.e. nutritional) standards. Do you think hospitals in England should have to meet health standards too? YES - 83.6%; NO - 9.97%; DON'T KNOW - 6.17%; OTHER - 0.26%
 In October 2011, the Welsh Government published legally binding nutritional standards for hospital food which will be introduced from January 2012. This includes nutrient specifications to limit daily consumption of saturated fat and salt. It also includes daily servings of five portions of fruit and vegetables. More information is available at: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/health/publications/health/guidance/nutrition/?lang=en
 The Good Food for Our Money campaign is calling on the Government to introduce high, and rising compulsory nutritional, environmental and ethical standards for all public sector food. A full list of supporting organisations is here https://www.sustainweb.org/goodfoodforourmoney/supporters/
 ‘Protected mealtimes failing as nine million hospital meals go uneaten’, Ssentif Intelligence press release, 10 October 2011: http://bit.ly/siSesn
Demand Government buys high-quality food for our schools and hospitals
Take our online action
Published 28 Dec 2011
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.
Support our charity
Donate to enhance the health and welfare of people, animals and the planet.