Hospital Food Needs Improvement to Meet the Nutritional Needs of the Patient

by Medindia Content Team on  November 30, 2006 at 8:22 PM Hospital News   - G J E 4
Hospital Food Needs Improvement to Meet the Nutritional Needs of the Patient
Inadequate nutritional care of patients of Scotland hospitals causing an imbalance in the overall treatment has lead to the formation of an official watchdog to ensure that the standards of effective dietary care are met with.

According to Scotland s Audit report 50% of the hospitals have not yet analyzed the nutritional value of the diets the supply to patients who are in a critical condition and any miscalculation in their prescription of menus can lead to unexpected delay in the treatment.

Only around 1/4th of the hospitals ensure that there would be assistance of the ward staff to patients who need help at meal times. A study by Age concern reports that most probably 90% of the nurses had no time to give heed to the patients.

Feedback from patients

Feedback of the patient concerning their satisfaction with hospital food has to be carried on by health boards at least every three months, according to a survey held in 2003.

Sadly, only 30% of the hospitals followed this practice and 20% of them did not have any concern about patient satisfaction.

Expert Opinion

The director of public reporting in health, Barbara Hurst said at Audit Scotland: "Hospital food was the key to the nutritional care of patients and helped them to get better.

"Boards need to do more to ensure patients are getting the nutritional care they need as a matter of priority."

According to Dr Sumantra Ray of the British Medical Association, Scotland: "Hospital malnutrition remains a major problem in the NHS and this must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

"It is estimated that UK-wide, malnutrition costs the NHS £7.3bn a year.

"It is ironic that, at a time when the importance of eating well is high on the health agenda, this is not mirrored in our hospitals."

Shona Robison, SNP health spokeswoman said that in spite of some progress in the report it still needs additional attention and she also shows her concern on, "inconsistent prioritization of nutritional care and the lack of routine screening for under-nutrition".

Carolyn Leckie, Scottish Socialist Party MSP said that most hospitals spent $2.50 on a patient's food per day, she also claims, "This is a budget that would hardly feed a budgie and it is hard to see how it is possible to serve sick people three healthy meals a day for less than the price of a fish supper."

In simple words the hospitals do have to prioritize their aims to support the patient's requirements in every way possible.

Source: Medindia

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