Celebrity Bake Off judge is urging the NHS to focus on serving “delicious and nutritious” to all inpatients.
Prue Leith has led a review into looking at meals served in hospital and has made a series of recommendations to improve the current offerings.
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She wants NHS Trusts to prioritise food safety and ensure meals are healthy which the star insists is possible to do on a budget.
The review was carried out in response to an outbreak of listeria in hospitals last year which was traced back to pre-packaged sandwiches and salads.
Recommendations that have been made include upgrading hospital kitchens so they can provide round-the-clock food service so people can eat at all hours. This would be helpful for new mothers on a maternity ward or people who had to fast before their surgery.
Pru said: “The review provides best-in-class examples of how hospitals can serve delicious, nutritious and nicely presented meals on a budget.
“Food is not only important to health, but to morale. Hospital mealtimes should be a moment of enjoyment and a pleasure to serve. They should inspire staff, patients and visitors to eat well at home.”
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It has also been suggested that the NHS should consider introducing digital menus to make ordering food easier for the patient and a set of national professional guidelines for NHS chefs would ensure all meals were served to the same standard.
Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of Leon Restaurants and independent lead on the National Food Strategy review, said: “We urgently need to get to grips with the slow-motion disaster that is the British diet. If we are to succeed, hospitals must be a guiding light.”
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Every meal that patients get in hospital should be appetising and nutritious” and that the NHS should play its part in tackling the nation’s obesity crisis.”