New Hospital Food Guidance welcomed by the British Dietetic Association
The British Dietetic Association (BDA) has welcomed the news that The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, has issued eight ‘Statements of Expectation’ outlining what would be expected of hospital food, including hydration, in England.
The BDA is the professional association for registered dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 7,000 members.
Speaking about today’s announcement, BDA Chairman, Helen Davidson, said:
“Today’s announcement by the Secretary of State is very much welcomed and a definite step in the right direction. Having good food in our hospitals is a basic human right without a question.”
“The BDA considers that appropriate good nutrition, meeting the clinical and personal needs of all, must be a priority. The potential for good nutrition to improve hospital care is huge. Malnutrition should not be, but is, a very real and current problem within the UK population that needs urgent attention. Improving hospital food is part of the solution.
“We welcome the Government’s buying standards as a basis for good food in hospitals but urge Government to recognise that nutritional standards designed for the majority may need to be adapted for those with increased nutritional needs.
“The BDA urges Commissioners and regulators to recognise the value and potential cost savings of developing high quality catering services as part of a package of care to improve health, and welcomes patient led inspections as key to placing service users at the heart of healthcare.
“We look forward to working with the Department of Health in helping hospitals achieve these expectations.”
The eight ‘Statements of Expectation’ issued today are:
- Nutritious and appetising hospital food is an essential part of the personal package of care and hospitals should take all reasonable steps to ensure that patients have a healthy food experience.
- All patients should be able to choose from a reasonably varied menu that meets their social and religious needs whilst complementing their clinical care requirements.
- All patients should have access at all times to fresh drinking water, unless this is contraindicated by their clinical condition.
- Access to food and drink outside planned mealtimes should be available where appropriate.
- Hospitals should promote a healthy diet to their staff and visitors.
- The criteria set out in the Government Buying Standards for Food should be adopted as standard where practical and supported by procurement practices.
- Hospitals should regularly evaluate their food services and act on feedback from patients, demonstrating improvement and aiming to achieve and maintain excellence.
- Commissioners of NHS-funded care should seek and reward excellence in hospital food when contracting services.
|For more information / interview requests, please contact Steven Jenkins the BDA Press Office on: 0800 048 1714|
Notes to the Editor:
- Visit the BDA website at www.bda.uk.com
- Registered dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
- Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated, and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Dietitians work in the NHS, private practice, industry, education, research, sport, media, public relations, publishing, Non Government Organisations and government. Their advice influences food and health policy across the spectrum from government, local communities and individuals.
- The BDA has just published a new policy statement called The Care of Nutritionally Vulnerable Adults in Community and all Health and Care Settings, which can be found at www.bda.uk.com/policies.
- The BDA’s Food Counts Specialist Group has just published The Nutrition and Hydration Digest: Improving Outcomes through Food and Beverage Services, which is primarily written for those involved in food provision in care settings, particularly dietitians, dietetic support workers and caterers; but other professionals such as nurses, speech and language therapists and those interested in delivering excellence in food and beverage services, will also find it inspiring.
- Visit the BDA’s Mind the Hunger Gap campaign website at www.mindthehungerGap.com (highlighting the levels of malnutrition in older people living in their own homes in the community, currently estimated to be 1,000,000 people everyday – not including those in a hospital or care setting).