PATIENTS have been promised healthier, tastier meals after Warwick Hospital was named as one of the worst in the country for the quality of food served on wards.
In a survey of 1,250 hospitals looking at food choice, quality and availability, Warwick found itself ranked a lowly 1,125th – placing it in the bottom ten per cent.
South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT) also runs nearby Leamington Hospital which ranked 760th in the list; Stratford which came in at 840th, and Ellen Badger Hospital in Shipston which was placed 247th.
The three hospitals all scored comfortably between a 90 and 99 per cent satisfaction rate for the taste and appearance of food, but Warwick trailed in with just 82 per cent.
To feed a patient for one day at the Lakin Road site costs the trust a total of £9.15, a sharp contrast to Leamington Hospital on Heathcote Road which spends £19.95.
Hospital bosses blamed the cost difference on staffing levels and Leamington using off site kitchens to prepare food, something which they also plan to do at Warwick.
SWFT associate director of operations Claire Hinds said: “We have four hospitals we are responsible for with three scoring highly.
“A year ago we put £700,000 into the food services at Warwick so we do recognise there is a number of issues and work needed to be done.”
The trust hope by teaming up with Food for Life Partnership (FFLP) – an initiative which encourages people to pick the healthy option – it will make positive changes to the hospital’s menu.
Mrs Hinds said: “We actively promote the importance of a healthy diet that is responsibly sourced so we are really pleased to be chosen as a pathfinder organisation for the FFLP. It’s great that the project is gaining national recognition and the Department of Health (DoH) have visited us to find out about the work we’re doing to improve health and well-being.”
As part of the changes more fresh produce and traceable meat will be used.
Sustainable fish will be offered twice a week and dining tables have been installed on the wards to bring a sense of routine to the hospital day.
The best rated hospital was the Spencer Private Hospital in Kent and the worst was Lee Mill in Plymouth.
When the data was released the DoH also announced a number of recommendations including screening patients for malnutrition, ensuring patients are eating and drinking and promoting healthy diets.
Warwick has already made these changes and is hoping patients will notice the benefits straight away.