Newham hospital trust denies scrimping on patients’ meals

They were responding to claims that Newham University Hospital NHS Trust was spending just 73p per meal, a penny less than the Prison Service pays to feed inmates.

The figures, obtained from the Department of Health, said the Trust was spending �2.19 for patients’ breakfast, lunch and dinner.

However a spokeswoman for the Trust told the Recorder: “The recently released Department of Health 2011 – 2012 statistics showing the cost of catering per patient per day for Newham University Hospital NHS Trust as �2.19 are incorrect.

“At Newham University Hospital Trust, John Laing, the PFI partner who provides all catering charges �2.19 per meal which equates to a �6.57 cost per patient per day. The national average is �8.77 per patient per day.”

Although the figures from the Trust show it spends �2.19 per meal it is still considerably less than Barts and the London NHS Trust which is at the top of the scale and spends �5.22 per meal.

The figures from the Department of Health show that many trusts have been cutting the cost of providing meals for patients, some by negotiating cheaper contracts.