A new study has revealed that about nine million NHS hospitals meals were thrown away uneaten last year. We compare the most wasteful NHS hospitals with nearby private hospitals, to see the difference private medical insurance (PMI) can make to your quality of care.
Last week it emerged that half of all NHS hospitals in England were failing to meet the basic nutrition standards required by the Care Quality Commission. Out of the 100 hospitals inspected, 49 of these were below standard. In some wards, patients were left for up to ten hours without water.
Since hospital trusts are responsible for their own catering provision and there is no government guidance, new figures obtained by data analysts SSentif revealed that there is a huge discrepancy between organisations.
The 9.3million meals which were estimated to be thrown away last year would have cost the NHS £22million. There are concerns that meal trays are simply placed in front of bedbound patients, and removed before they have been eaten.
Michelle Mitchell, charity director of Age UK, said: ‘Often, older patients require more support to eat a meal, especially after an operation or while receiving treatment, and this is often not taken into account.
‘Hospitals must make nutritional care a top priority, so older people don’t go needlessly hungry.’
The worst culprit was the NHS Ipswich hospital, in which 29% of food was binned last year not having been touched, leading to worries that patients are not receiving adequate nutrition.
With private medical insurance, patients could be treated in the nearby Nuffield Health Ipswich Hospital, a private hospital with 46 private ensuite bedrooms. Here, all meals are cooked fresh on site, and patients will be given a daily menu to choose from.
The University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust is another hospital with a poor record, having binned 25% of patient meals last year.
With private health insurance, patients could be treated in the Spire Manchester Hospital, a private hospital situated just 2 miles from Manchester City Centre. At Spire Norwich Hospital the catering team provide fresh, homemade meals for every patient, every meal time, every day.
Use our free searchable hospital database to find out which policy will cover your chosen private hospital. Alternatively, compare health insurance quotes online now to gain peace of mind about your future health.
The analysis comes ahead of a Care Quality Commission report to be published later this week which will look at poor NHS practice over nutrition for the elderly.
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