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Prisoners have better diets than NHS patients

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Prisoners are better fed than NHS hospital patients, even though prisons spend less per person on meals, researchers have said.

Food offered across the NHS was compared with that given to inmates by a team from Bournemouth University. The researchers said prisoners have a more nutritional diet than hospital patients, in part due to problems such as patients not receiving help with eating and a lack of hospital monitoring to check they are well-fed.

Professor John Edwards said that about 40% of patients were malnourished before going into hospital but their nutrition tended not to improve during their stay.

He said: “If you are in prison then the diet you get is extremely good in terms of nutritional content, the food that is provided is actually better than most civilians have.

“Hospital patients don’t consume enough. If you are using food as a means of treatment then it’s not working.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: “The Nutrition Action Plan, Improving Nutritional Care, outlines how nutritional care and hydration can be improved and highlights five key priority areas for NHS and social care staff to work with.”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I think the patients in the NHS geta very raw deal where food is concerned. once 5'0 clock comes and tea is gone you cant get a meal come hell or high water.

    My hospital prepares food for other hospitals too.

    NHS Food needs a major overhaul!

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  • I lost 32kg due to illness and neglect over a short period. The dietition brought in was brilliant, as she left a young nurse came to talk to me about healthy eating after the dietitions plan was calories ++. I just laughed and laughed. Nurses lack basic techniques in observation and nutrition.

    And of course are told in school meals and feeding are menial tasks for others to do.

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