Organisations such as BAPEN, NICE and AGE UK, have all indicated how important food is to an individual’s recovery in hospital. However sadly it still seems to be the one area in which many hospital Trusts see as a means to save money. The NNNG believes that all patients in a health care setting should be entitled to food that is nutritious and palatable, at any time of day or night. Nurses, as the healthcare professional in closest contact with their patient, should be able to access food for their patients without having to justify why a patient needs an extra snack or hot meal.
Nutrition is an essential part of treatment and should be seen as such – instead it continues to be seen as a hotel service which implies that it is not strictly essential to care and as such can be subject to economies as the healthcare environment thinks fit.
The NNNG agrees with the report by the Campaign for Better Hospital Food (2013) and welcomes the new inspections which replace the PEAT inspections as they are more patient focused and puts the patient at the heart of what is important.
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