The NHS is in a unique position to create an environment that educates patients, staff and visitors on the broad benefits of healthy and sustainable diets.
Yet it’s food is widely considered to be of poor quality and is not environmentally sustainable.
Eating a healthy diet can help us maintain a healthy body weight, consume important nutrients, and reduce the risk of us developing a multitude of major health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and osteoporosis.
Once in hospital, there is evidence that better nutrition leads to faster wound healing rates in patients and thus a shorter hospital stay. At the same time malnourished patients stay longer in hospital, and are more likely to develop complications and infections.
Hard-working staff also need to be well nourished to operate effectively. The Department of Health estimates that of the 1.2 million staff in the NHS, over half were classified as obese or overweight, with many experiencing related conditions..
Hospitals should be leading by example in providing healthy and sustainable food, and using their £600 million a year’s worth of purchasing power to support environmentally and socially responsible suppliers.
Medact believes there is an urgent need to improve the quality of hospital food for patients, visitors and staff.
If you agree, find out more by downloading our report and toolkit, designed to help you promote change within your hospital or health organisation.
Download – Hospital Food Campaigning Toolkit [PDF]
For an in-depth situational analysis of the current policy environment around hospital food, see our accompanying report
For hard copies of the report, please contact the office.
Medact represents members of the health community in the UK who want to inspire social change through evidence based information and campaigning. Find out how you can get involved.