Good hospital food needn’t cost more

FIGURES RELEASED from the Health and Social Care Information Centre yesterday reveal that spending on patient food varies widely between hospitals – with the cost of patient food per day ranging from as little as £2.55 up to £31.00.


Amy Leech, policy officer at the Soil Association said; “In recent years we have seen some catering budgets squeezed as hospitals seek to make savings. These budget cuts may look good on a spread sheet, but what is the impact on a recovering patient? In the long run, serving cheap, unappetising, unhealthy and untraceable food to patients is not good value, for taxpayers, British farmers or hospitals, as they work to get people better.”


Food served in hospitals is an integral part of good patient care; it saves lives and doesn’t have to cost more. Five hospitals from North Bristol NHS Trust, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust serve fresh, healthy, traceable and ethical food under the Food for Life Catering Mark, at a cost of between £7.20 and £9.29 per day. All five hospitals have a lower than average spend – proof that great hospital food is possible and can be affordable.


Catering Mark-accredited hospitals also champion British and local food producers, with the result that for every £1 spent on a Food for Life Catering Mark menu there is a social return on investment of more than £3 to the local community, mostly in the form of new jobs and contracts for local food producers.


Costs for Catering Mark hospital food per patient per day:


  • Hinchingbrooke Hospital (Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust) = £7.30 – Bronze Catering Mark
  • Nottingham City Hospital (Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust) = £8.67 – Bronze Catering Mark
  • Queens Medical Centre (Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust) = £9.29 – Bronze Catering Mark
  • Southmead Hospital (North Bristol NHS Trust) = £8.10 – Silver Catering Mark
  • Frenchay Hospital (North Bristol NHS Trust) = £7.40 – Silver Catering Mark


More data HERE