FOOD served up at the Royal Bolton Hospital has been ranked “among the worst” in the country by patients.
The Bolton NHS Foundation Trust will be expected to raise the standard of meals after receiving poor scores for quality and choice in results published on the NHS Choices website.
All hospitals across England will now be ranked on whether the menu is approved by a dietician, the availability of fresh fruit and food between meals, the variety of options at breakfast and the cost of the food provided.
The Government has also introduced rules to raise the nutritional standards of hospital food.
The quality of food at the Royal Bolton performed poorly compared to other trusts, with patients rating it at 87 per cent.
The choice of food in Bolton fell into the bottom 20 per cent of all trusts, along with the availability of fruit and food between meals. However, a separate inspection carried out by different volunteers from the Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMW) produced better results — with the quality of food being ranked at 100 per cent.
Stephen Tyldsley, divisional director of operations at the Royal Bolton, said: “We are constantly monitoring the quality of our food and the choice on offer to our patients.
“Every week a group of managers and governors sample and assess a patient meal which is scored based on a number of factors including taste, temperature and presentation.
“Patients on wards are also asked for their feedback on the hospital meals, and this is generally very positive, however necessary action is taken where possible if any negative feedback is received.
“Here at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust we do not currently have food available for patients on a 24-hour basis which is why we scored lower than we would have liked on the ‘choice of food’ category, however there is an action plan in place to look at extending our services.”
The same catering company provides meals for both foundation trust patients and GMW patients staying in the Royal Bolton Hospital.
The cost of food, drink, staffing costs and the price of transporting food at Bolton is £6.02 per patient per day, £5.53 at Salford and £7.32 at Leigh.
WHAT FOOD MUST BE PROVIDED
- Fish twice a week
- Seasonal produce
- Tap water
- Cooked rice, potatoes and vegetables without salt
- Half of all desserts should be fruit
- Half of tea and coffee should be Fairtrade