Community hospitals spend most on food

PATIENTS at community hospitals in Suffolk get £24 spent on their food every day - more than the cost of some restaurants - while their Norfolk counterparts have just half that.

PATIENTS at community hospitals in Suffolk get £24 spent on their food every day - more than the cost of some restaurants - while their Norfolk counterparts have just half that.

The huge differences in the amount spent on hospital food have been revealed in figures recently published by the NHS Information Centre.

NHS Suffolk, which runs a number of community hospitals in Suffolk, spends more than any other NHS body in the country on patient food - £24.65 per patient per day. The comparable figure for NHS Norfolk is £11.40. But this is generous compared with some hospitals which spend less than £3. West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust is the lowest spender in the country, spending just £1.96 a day.

A spokesman for NHS Suffolk said: “Providing patients with good-quality, nutritious food is extremely important, as the right diet can play a key role in helping people to recover from illness.

“We make sure that we provide a good choice of foods for all of our patients, and that those on special diets, such as low fat, low potassium or wheat-free diets, are well catered for.”

The figures revealed that Ipswich Hospital spends £10.28 a day on patient's food while West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust spends £8.61.

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Suffolk Mental Health Trust is another the country's most generous spenders, spending £14.09 a day on food.

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