In a bid to highlight the importance of nutritional meals the Prince of Wales has urged hospital trust bosses to see food as a “medicine”.
Prince Charles, a strong advocate of organically grown and locally sourced produce, made the comments to executives and senior managers while visiting the Royal Brompton Hospital’s pioneering catering initiative.
The freshly made meals served to patients at the facility in west London are created from produce of which 20% is either sourced from local farms and greenhouses or grown organically.
The hospital catering service also offers a range of foods which are free from additives, gluten, dairy or genetically modified produce and low in fat.
He said: “At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious people largely go to hospital to get well and obviously the food we eat does make a difference to our general health even when we are not ill.
“So it does seem even more crucial the food hospital patients are given helps rather than risks hindering the process of recovery.”
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“Thank goodness! Dieticians have advocated this attitude with managers for over 35 years. However, our views always superseded by the accountants” – Name and address supplied
“Food and nutrition in general in hospitals needs to be taken much more seriously by nursing and medical staff. Malnutrition is so prevalent in hospitals and seriously hinders a patient’s recovery. Both nursing and medical staff need to undertake more nutrition education as part of their training and the role of the dietitian needs to be recognised. On many occasions dietetic referrals are made and the recommendations are not carried out, worsening the nutritional intake of the patient. Catering staff are underpaid and are not motivated to perform over and above their duties to provide the quality of food and service required. Frozen foods bought in are not acceptable to patients. We need to pay catering staff more and go back to freshly cooked food which is acceptable to patients.” – Name and contact details supplied