Owen Paterson, Environment Secretary, has tried to help reverse the reduction in the proportion of British food being served in hospitals by prescribing Cornish clotted cream ice cream in order to help improve patients’ health.
He went on to say that spending more of the available £2.1 billion budget for food and drink on British produce would not only help to create much healthier meals, which would be a huge benefit to patients, but it would also boost British farming.
At a dairy conference in Glasgow, he went on to address the award-winning Cornwall Food Programme and suggested that it should be used as a great example to others. The programme is responsible for providing 100,000 food portions to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance and St Michael’s Hospital in Hayle.
Paterson went on to say that the programme has meant that:
“They have increased the amount of fresh, local food they use… They have started serving a local clotted cream ice cream which not only tempts patients to eat but actually saves money, as fewer elderly patients need powdered drink supplements to make sure they get enough calories.”
It’s no secret that the majority of people don’t like hospital food and as a lot of people refuse to eat it when they’re admitted, it means that nutrition is a huge concern – especially with regards to elderly patients. If this programme were spread throughout the NHS it would mean that patients would receive the essential nutrition that they require in the form of fresh, hearty meals rather than supplement drinks.
The Secretary of State has also praised the menu that’s available at Cornwall’s hospital and would like their “buy local” ethos to be extended to all areas of the NHS as well as to schools and prisons.