Prison or NHS- food without thought

6 May 2009 you look at the number of NHS websites giving nutritional advice, you could easily believe that the organisation has our health interests at heart. Health care advisors are adamant that we are what we eat, and stress the importance of diet in maintaining a healthy body. The NHS takes nutrition very seriously, until, of course, you go into a public UK hospital. There, cost is king, and the priority has always been to keep spending down.

Unlike prisons.

A report in a national newspaper revealed that prisoners held in police cells receive an average of £12.00 per day to spend on their meals, while the average spending per hospital patient is under £5.00. Last year, the Express newspaper discovered that North Bristol NHS trust spent just 50p (yes, 50p) on the average patients meal.

A recent survey by the Children's cancer charity, CLIC Sargent, also discovered that 9 out of 10 members of NHS staff had received a complaint about food. But despite that, the NHS and indeed the government's promises to improve catering in hospitals has improved little.

A visit to Patient Opinion makes harrowing reading, and shows that up until 4 days ago, people are still being served cold, unappetising meals by an organisation that employs hundreds of nutritionists to tell us how to feed ourselves properly.

No one walks into the lobby of their local hospital and searches the walls for the Michelin star count, but surely, good warm wholesome food is not out of the question. This may be an old chestnut, but that is the very reason why it is a disgrace that structural problems on this level still exists.

TOPICS:   Health


  • Joff
    When I spent some time in hospital last year, I would have loved to have been offered a curry. I should have gone to prison instead -
  • Mike H.
    People will always complain even if it's caviar and lobster, miserble fuckers, shouldn't get ill in the first place!
  • Eddy
    This is disgusting! £12 per head per day! Me and my partner spend about £250 between us a month on shopping at Asda. An average prisoner gets £360 each! What a joke this government is!
  • Rock
    I work in a prison and the budget believe it or not is £12 a week not a day.
  • Scooby P.
    My wife is a contracts manager for a company who supply food directly into the NHS. Every year, more and more efficiencies need to be made, whilst the decentralisation of NHS Trusts means that the opportunity to obtain economies of scale are further reduced. Coupled with the fact that DHL (perhaps one of its subsidiaries) receive 100% of any rebates due back to the NHS, its little wonder the food served up is comparable to dogshit and baby puke.
  • Jamie
    Anyone who takes articles from The Mail to be anything other than entertaining and hate-inspiring fiction needs to reassess. I was under the assumption that everyone understood by now that The Mail shaft the majority of their statistics so that they fall inline with their whingey lower-middle class view points.
  • Mike
    Police cells are not prison / jail cells, of course its more expensive per person than catering for hundreds every day.

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