YEP Says, June 20: Hospital menus need careful food for thought

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IT would be disingenuous not to acknowledge the improvements that have been made to the quality of food now served by hospitals.

IT would be disingenuous not to acknowledge the improvements that have been made to the quality of food now served by hospitals.

Most meals bear no resemblance to the unappetising stodge that used to be served on a regular basis. It is not easy – cooking for a large number of people on disparate hospital sites, and with varying dietary requirements, remains the ultimate challenge for any caterer worth their salt.

Yet, while the very best chefs do know how to make the most out of their ingredients, it is perturbing to report that the amount spent on meals is actually falling at hospitals in Leeds – and elsewhere – as NHS Trusts look to balance the interests of patients with the financial realities facing the National Health Service on a daily basis as a consequence of an ageing population.

However they need to be mindful that this could be a false economy. For, without appetising meals that are both nutritious and nourishing, it will take patients even longer to regain their strength before they can be discharged. And the consequence? Even greater demand for beds. It is a vicious circle that offers much food for thought.

Even though the Government has introduced mandatory food standards, they should be regarded as minimum requirements. Where possible, the onus should be on hospitals to go the extra mile and ensure hospitals serves meals sourced from local ingredients.

After all, responsibility for hospitals in neighbouring Sheffield comes under the remit of a hotel services director – a role indicative of the high standards expected by patients at all mealtimes.

Let’s hear it for the ‘bestest’ dads

Congratulations Stuart Atkinson from Churwell, winner of our competition to find Yorkshire’s ‘Superdad’, nominated by his four-year-old daughter, Pearl.

Says Pearl: “He reads me a story and uses funny voices that make me laugh. He gives me really nice cuddles, he is the bestest Daddy!”

While we love them all the year round, let’s make sure that tomorrow, Father’s Day, dads everywhere know that they’re the ‘bestest’ too.

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