Prue Leith to advise on hospital food review

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Great British Bake Off judge and restaurateur Prue Leith to advise on hospital food review announced by government

Related tags: Hospital, Food, Kitchen, Government, Uk government, Nhs, Heston blumenthal, Albert roux

Great British Bake Off judge and restaurateur Prue Leith is to advise on a review announced by the government today (23 August) into hospital food.

The review was first called for by health secretary Matt Hancock in June, after six people died following a listeria outbreak that was connected to pre-packaged sandwiches and salads supplied to a number of NHS hospitals.

Philip Shelley, former head of the Hospital Caterers Association, will chair the review that will look at how to increase the number of hospitals with their own kitchens and chefs.

It will also reflect on how food can help aid faster recovery, examine the sustainability and environmental impact of the whole supply chain, and consider providing more healthy food options for NHS staff.

According to the government the NHS serves more than 140 million meals to patients across the country annually, however, the quality and nutritional value can vary substantially.

“Millions of pounds are wasted in hospitals with food ending up in the bin, unpalatable food being the main complaint,” says Leith, who has previously spoken out on the need for hospitals to provide healthier food options.

“I’m delighted that, at long last, Downing Street and the Department of Health have decided to do something about it.

“A hospital meal should be a small highlight, a little pleasure and comfort. And it should help, not hinder, the patient’s recovery.”

Leith is not the first renowned chef to advise on food initiatives related to UK hospitals.

Albert Roux advised the Department of Health on how to improve hospital food back in 1995, while Lloyd Grossman led the government's Better Hospital Food initiative between 2001 and 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2010, Heston Blumenthal signed up to help the government with a project designed to improve NHS meals for elderly patients.

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