Trust spends up to three times more on hospital food at Warwick

By Laura Maltby Thursday 31 October 2013 Updated: 06/11 10:36

PATIENTS at Warwick Hospital can expect some of the best dining in the country after it was revealed bosses spent up to three times more feeding their patients than other hospital trusts.

New figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre revealed South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) spent an average of £14.04 per day on inpatient meals.

The figure - almost £5 more than the national average of £9.87 - is also treble the amount of other trusts such as Solihull Hospital where £4.88 was spent, and Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust in London, which had the lowest spend in the country with just £4.15.

In stark contrast was the £15.22 spent by scandal-hit Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust - the highest average in the UK.

According to the figures 608,974 meals were requested by patients at Warwick Hospital, Stratford Hospital, Royal Leamington Spa Rehab Hospital and Ellen Badger Hospital in Shipston - all of which are looked after by SWFT.

Of these, just under 3.5 percent were wasted or went unserved compared to the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, where nearly 18 per cent of meals were classed as 'ward food waste'.

A spokesman for South Warwickshire Foundation Trust said: "At South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust we take the comfort and well-being of our patients very seriously and understand that diet contributes to this. Consequently we aim to provide our patients with the best quality food available.

"While we are in the proportion of higher spending trusts, it's important to acknowledge this cost is the average daily cost for the provision of all meals and beverages fed to an inpatient per day.

"The cost includes all pay and non-pay aspects including provisions, special dietary requirements, equipment and its maintenance."

A Department of Health spokeswoman said the average cost of feeding patients had increased by £1.10 from £8.77 to £9.87 in the last 12 months.

She added: "It's crucial patients receive tasty, nutritious food as part of their care and although the NHS is spending more on patient meals, there is still too much variation across the country."

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