Consultant wants hospital food shakeup

A HOSPITAL consultant has called for a Jamie Oliver style shakeup after he branded the current food available to patients and staff on the NHS “junk” and “nutritionally inadequate”.

A HOSPITAL consultant has called for a Jamie Oliver style shakeup after he branded the current food available to patients and staff on the NHS “junk” and “nutritionally inadequate”.

Consultant physician Dr Peter Phillips, of Ipswich Hospital, is concerned at the impact of cheap food on people's health and said that a campaign, similar to the school dinner initiative headed by the TV chef, is needed to confront the problem.

Speaking to the EADT last night, Dr Phillips, from Constable Road, Ipswich, said: “Hospitals do the best they can on a limited budget but often the food is nutritionally inadequate.

“We need to try and give patients adequate nutrition so that that they can recover quickly and fully after an illness, infection or operation, but far too often they receive mixed messages.


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“For example the doctors may stress the need for them to eat healthily but the food the patient is given may be high in fat, sugar or salt.

“In addition there are vending machines in hospitals selling crisps and fizzy drinks and people coming round selling chocolates.

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“You can walk onto a coronary ward and see patients eating battered fish and chips.

“What's needed is something similar to Jamie Oliver's school dinners campaign, with someone of a similar profile to get the Prime Minister's ear.”

The celebrity chef's Feed Me Better campaign has won overwhelming support and last week the Government approved more cash to fund healthy menus for school pupils.

Dr Phillips continued: “The same applies for members of staff.

“High blood pressure, stress and heart attacks are common and people who work for the NHS need to be given the same message - to encourage healthy eating and set a good example.

“The Government tries hard but I think it needs to try harder to put across a message of health promotion in hospitals.

“The agenda is often commercial because the companies that supply the food have to provide a diet within a certain budget while catering for what the population want which unfortunately is often junk.

“The Government needs to stick to its guns a bit more and help to promote a healthier lifestyle.”

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said that they are very proud of the quality of food at the hospital, although they recognise that they can always improve.

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