St Cross’ food ratings published online

The ratings can be found on the NHS Choices website
The ratings can be found on the NHS Choices website

The Hospital of St Cross will be rated for its food quality on the NHS Choices website for the first time.

The new rating system will run alongside the mandatory food standards that have been introduced in hospitals across the country.

Each hospital will be scored on several aspects of its food service, including the quality, choice and if fresh fruit is always available.

St Cross’ food quality was rated 92.51 per cent and food choice was rated at 76.53 per cent.

The recent report stated that fresh fruit was not always available at the hospital but food was available between meals and the menu had been checked by a dietitian.

The cost of St Cross’ food service per patient per day was £10.02. This includes the cost of the food, equipment, staff and delivery.

The mandatory requirements were selected from over 50 food quality standards and will now be included in the NHS Standard Contract – making them legally-binding for hospitals.

The requirements state that hospitals should screen patients for malnutrition and patients should have a food plan, hospitals must take steps to ensure patients get the help they need to eat and drink, including initiatives such as protected meal times where appropriate, and hospital canteens must promote healthy diets for staff and visitors – the food offered will need to comply with government recommendations on salt, saturated fats and sugar.

They also state that food must be sourced in a sustainable way so that it is healthy, good for individuals and for the food industry.

Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for health, said: “We are making the NHS more transparent, giving patients the power to compare food on wards and incentivising hospitals to raise their game. Many hospitals are already offering excellent food to their patients and staff. But we want to know that all patients have nourishing and appetising food to help them get well faster and stay healthy.”