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

PUBLISHED: 09:03 19 March 2014 | UPDATED: 09:03 19 March 2014

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.

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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.

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.”

I was proud to be the first woman ever to be elected as an MP for a Suffolk constituency in 2010, writes Dr Therese Coffey.

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