Hot buttered toast will improve the patient experience, claims PM

Hospitals have been forced to outsource catering to private companies in a bid to save money. 

Matt Bodell
24 August 2019
Toast in Toaster

A review will examine if the number of hospitals using in-house catering teams can be increased.

Boris Johnson claims that something as simple as delivering “hot buttered toast for the patients of this country” will help improve their experience of the NHS.

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His remarks come alongside an announcement that Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith will advise a Government review into hospital food.

The “root and branch” review by the Department of Health and Social Care will examine if the number of hospitals using in-house catering teams can be increased.

Earlier this year, six people died due to listeria in pre-packaged hospital sandwiches sourced from private companies.

‘Too many complaints’.

Over the past decade, most hospitals have been forced to outsource catering to private companies in a bid to save money.

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Earlier this week during a visit to Torbay Hospital in Devon Mr. Johnson met catering and hospital staff and patients.

Hot Buttered Toast
Pixabay

The Prime Minister said: “We get too many complaints from patients about the quality of the food and I think it does affect their experience when they are in hospital.

“And sometimes it can be something as simple as not having hot toast, and having toast actually made on the wards, so one thing you want to deliver is hot buttered toast for the patients of this country.”

‘Half-baked schemes’.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) claims that “you don’t need a celebrity chef to tell you hospital food needs an overhaul.”

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Patricia Marquis, RCN Director for England said: “More than six years ago the then-health secretary said hospitals should serve food that is of high quality and healthy.

“The Government hopes this review will improve the lives of nursing staff as well, yet many of our members tell us short-staffing is so rampant lunch breaks have become a luxury, not a necessity.

“Nursing staff won’t see improvements in hospital catering if they can’t even take time to eat a proper meal on shift without putting patients in harm’s way.

“Our expectations for this review go beyond half-baked schemes no matter how noble.”

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