Speaking at a conference on food in hospitals last week, Conservative shadow health minister Earl Howe said that research had shown that only one in 10 hospitals had a screening programme in place.
‘Although there are some shining examples of good practice around food in hospitals inevitably it has to be on the areas of bad practice that the focus rests,’ he said.
Richard Wilson, director of nutrition and dietetics at Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, issued a stark warning about nutrition in hospitals. ‘Somehow the health service is allowed to kill people…the wrong meal can kill people,’ he said.
Mr Wilson called on frontline nursing staff to report incidents were getting the wrong meal or no meal at all. ‘Catering in an institution is complex, difficult and labour intensive and getting it right is a difficult thing for us to achieve but we do have a problem of malnutrition,’ he said.
Mr Wilson added that patients admitted from one institution to another were at greater risk of malnutrition.