Harrogate hospital food highly rated as NHS launched new measures

Patients at Harrogate District Hospital are tucking into good food during their stay, according to figures from the Department of Health.

Meals served at Harrogate’s hospital and the Ripon Community Hospital are rated as significantly above the national average.

The comes as the NHS launches a new set of standards for hospital food earlier in the week.

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Stan Ash, hotel services manager at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, which runs both hospitals, said: “We are delighted that once again, the quality of our food has been praised in this national survey.

“We know from feedback from patients and relatives that our food, which is freshly cooked on site, is usually well received.

“We source most of our produce locally and provide staff and visitors with the same meals that go to patients on the wards, as we are very proud of the food we provide.”

The local figures are contained within the results of the new Patient Led Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE) survey which is conducted by a panel, including patient representatives, who visit wards to test and rate the food provided.

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The national average for hospitals meeting standards - which include choice, 24-hour food availability, meal time environment, and access to menus as well as an assessment of the food service at ward level and the taste and temperature of food, is 88.79 per cent. Harrogate District Hospital scored 94.63 per cent and Ripon Community Hospital scored 93.24 per cent.

Mandatory requirements for food in NHS hospitals came into force this week. They include; ensuring patients have a food plan, promoting healthy diets for staff and visitors in canteens and sourcing food in a sustainable way.

Jill Gale, senior specialist dietitian at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT) said: “We very much welcome these new standards. At HDFT we have already introduced many systems to improve the nutritional care of our patients. These include protected mealtimes, which allow patients to enjoy their meals in a calm and relaxed atmosphere, as well as the recruitment of nutrition assistants and mealtime volunteers to assist patients with their meals. Our patients are screened for nutritional problems on admission, and where appropriate we initiate a nutritional plan.”

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