57% of patients rate hospital food as “very good”

14/05/2009 - 00:00
According to a new survey, there has been a vast improvement in how patients rate hospital food, with 57% of patients ranking the food as "very good" (21%) or "good" (36%), up from 53% in 2002.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), the new health and social care regulator, carried out a survey by 165 acute and specialist NHS trusts in England. Participating were over 72,000 people who stayed at least one night in a hospital during summer 2008. The survey is co-ordinated by the Picker Institute.
Further research found that in 2008, a further 30% rated the food as "fair, however 14% said it was "poor".

Meanwhile of those patients who said they needed it (30%), 18% said they did not get enough help from staff to eat their meals. This is an improvement since 2007 when 20% said they did not get enough help, but no change from 2002 (18%).

Cynthia Bower, CQC chief executive, said: "Patients are clearly highlighting some persistent problems, in particular in some of the basics of care such as help with eating and involvement in decisions. "It is a great shame that the NHS has not managed to get a stronger grip on these issues when patients have been highlighting them for so long. As the regulator, we will be doing more to ensure people's views have more clout."

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