July 31 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
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.”