Ipswich: TV chef James Martin attacks Dr Dan Poulter over hospital food – and asks him to live on hospital meals for a week

TV chef James Martin has criticised Dr Dan Poulter in a row over hospital food, challenging the MP to live on hospital meals for a week. TV chef James Martin has criticised Dr Dan Poulter in a row over hospital food, challenging the MP to live on hospital meals for a week.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
9:03 AM

A Suffolk MP has been criticised after defending the quality of hospital food – with a celebrity chef challenging him to live on hospital meals for a week.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Dr Dan Poulter, junior health minister and MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, described food served in hospitals as “hugely improved” and insisted patient-led surveys are driving up standards when interviewed on BBC Radio Four’s Food Programme on Sunday.

But TV chef James Martin, who has pledged to help end the “horror of hospital food”, criticised his remarks.

He tweeted about the MP and health minister: “I want him to live on it for a week.” He added: “On the basis of what he has just said on radio why should I bother.”

Alex Jackson, co-ordinator of the Campaign for Better Hospital Food, said: “Next time he is interviewed, he should be prepared to listen to patients rather than simply to tell them that they are wrong.”

Dr Poulter did not respond to requests for comment, but in the interview said: “There has been variation in some hospitals in the past but that’s something that we’re seeing has been hugely improved by the fact that we’re now listening to patients.”

15 comments

  • It seems that every few years someone famous from the world of food and catering is brought in to improve the quality of hospital food. Some years ago it was Lloyd Grosman. Ipswich Entrepreneur hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that running an upmarket restaurant is totally different from providing meals in a large hospital. When relatives of mine have stayed in small hospitals the quality of the food has been fairly good. When it comes to large hospitals the quality tends to drop. If the government or the NHS want to improve the quality of hospital food they should seek advice from people who have demonstrated that they are capable of producing nutritious food on a large scale whilst sticking to a limited budget. Like you, Ipswich Entrepreneur my post was blocked. I share your feelings about Dan Poulter.

    Report this comment

    BigGeoff

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • I am of the firm opinion that should you have to go into hospital, all treatment via NHS should be free. BUT, why on earth should you also get free meals - I believe that a token payment of say £5 per day would be fair and perhaps this would improve the quality and selection of food available

    Report this comment

    MotorBotor

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Sorry for the typo - it should have been censors obviously!

    Report this comment

    MZH

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • I'm with James Martin. My husband just spent two days in hospital (not in East Anglia) and the food was quite grim. "How do you mess up a baked potato?" read one of his texts.

    Report this comment

    Ex-IP17

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Argent .Why do you remove every post that criticises Poulter ? You welcome debate and then blank it. Grow some !

    Report this comment

    graham garrod

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • many comments disappeared. Why was my comment rejected... As follows (copy and paste) ... James Martin... is he that chef featured in a certain TV programme where he 'improves the food' at hospitals? Yes its easy to make soup and pasta, relatively good food and cheap... but not everyone wants to eat that. I watched a few episodes and in every single one it was the sole suggestion of soup... so if you don't like or fancy Italian food you would be stuck with soup! Not to mention who would really live on tomato soup for a week or more? He is missing the point. There is so much more to it than the food, there is the economics, not just because its down to a budget where (inpatients anyway) aren't directly paying or contributing to the cost of food but also the massive number of people to provide food for. His restaurants might have 170-200 'covers' capacity in a single day, but Ipswich Hospital for instance has approx 4 times that number of people to cater for and such people are located across a large site rather than one big room inside a casino. Oh, and I have nothing good to say about Dan Poulter either.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Thanks for the comment Esco. I was in Ipswich Hospital for a couple of days in 2011 and I remember the food wasn't up to much. It seems strange that not a lot of attention seems to be paid to hospital food. I'd have thought a good diet would be a vital part of one's recovery. If the food is poor then the management of Ipswich Hospital should seek a better provider.

    Report this comment

    BigGeoff

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Just before Christmas I had to go in for day surgery then stay in over night ,when I came to after the op, a plate of what I can only say looked like dog food was put on my bed ,it was some sort of curry ,I moved the meat of some sort around and to this day don't know what is was the nurse thought it might be chicken but was not sure, did I eat it no also the over cooked toast in the morning with just jam also went the same way,I wish our Dan could have seen it ,

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • A bit of cheap advertising for an obscure celebrity chef. (When was he last resident in an NHS hospital). I was in hospital in the early 80s and to be honest you were grateful for what you were kindly given and if it was not to ones liking there was always the takeaway option brought in be friends or family.It seems in this day and age everything has to be provided free to society. Next thing will be a personal rub down and a Schatsu service. Possibly if people in hospital were to be made to pay for their own food there maybe scope for better menus and also the right to complain if something was not right. Possibly this could be a new catering venture for our Mr Martin to have as a new business venture. Methinks not.

    Report this comment

    Ander P

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Amazingly, there's currently no mandatory standard for NHS hospital food. I doubt whether the likes of Poulter and, especially, Gummer ever have to eat it though.

    Report this comment

    Robotix

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Ok so I'm puzzled, I created a post in praise of hospital food having happily eaten it on a number of occasions recently and yet my post was rejected with the reason of "other"! What exactly is the criteria for these sensors, should I have said something derogatory instead!?!?!

    Report this comment

    MZH

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • So presumably Martin is a Labourite and his career needs a boost?

    Report this comment

    Sarky Sage

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • James Martin says that better food can be provided for no more money. Why would anyone support the status quo?

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • @BigGeoff. I believe hospital food is privatised, the government and NHS have no control over quality, the contract is just given to the cheapest tender. I have had a medium term stay in Ipswich hospital in recent years and the food is appalling. I am not ideologically opposed to a small charge for food, but 5 pound is ridiculous given that many poor people spend less than that on a daily basis already. The aim of a hospital is to help people recover, and good nutrition is a part of that.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Geoff, they probably can't. They will be tied to an unbreakable contract with an external provider. As I said earlier, I would not be against a small charge for food but I am not confident that charge would be genuinely used to improve food quality and instead just be swallowed up by the contractor as extra profit or by central government as extra revenue.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT