Oct 15 2013
Some hospital trusts spend as little as £4.15 per day feeding patients - less than half the national average, according to new figures.
Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust in London spent £4.15 per inpatient per day in 2012/13, compared to a national average spend of £9.87.
The data, released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), showed some NHS trusts spend over three times as much per inpatient per day as other trusts.
Other low spenders included the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (£4.65), Ealing Hospital NHS Trust in London (£4.65) and the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, a specialist neurology and neurosurgery trust, in Liverpool (£4.83).
The South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, a mental health trust, spent £4.37 per patient per day while the NHS in Barking and Dagenham, east London, invested £4.63.
Others spending around the £5 per day mark included Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (£5.02), Birmingham Women's NHS Foundation Trust (£5.15) and Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey (£5.05).
Stockport NHS Foundation Trust spent £5.34 and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust spent £5.53.
Those spending more than the average included Barts Health NHS Trust in London (£13.98), Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (£14.26), King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London (£15.69), Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust (£14.03), South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (£14.04) and the scandal-hit Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (£15.22)
Alex Jackson, co-ordinator of the Campaign for Better Hospital Food, said: "A survey of patients by the Care Quality Commission this year showed that there is no relationship between the amount of money spent on hospital food and its popularity with patients.
"The best patient meals are often those that are freshly cooked in a hospital's own kitchen.
"Patient meals cooked in this way are often also the cheapest to make, because they give hospital cooks the option to find the best deals from local suppliers.
"The Government must introduce mandatory standards for all hospital food to end this postcode lottery and make sure all patients get nourishing, high quality meals."