FINANCE: The trust has rejected plans to reduce the number of hot meals provided to patients each day from two to one a day despite the £400,000 savings that could have been made.

The main savings from this approach would have been a reduction in the housekeeper labour workforce due to cold meals not requiring any plating up.

However, this approach would not cater for the needs of a number of patient groups and in particular those with special nutritional needs, ethnic diets and
swallowing difficulties, a report seen by HSJ states.

For these reasons, the view of the nutritional professionals within the trust is not favourable to the one hot meal per day approach, particularly as the Picker Inpatient Survey shows a poor patient perception of the food.

As a consequence of the above, a “mixed approach” is being considered. A number of menu options have been suggested including the introduction of deep fill sandwiches, baguettes, wraps, high protein and calorie soup, and changes to the breakfast service.

It is anticipated that taking this mixed approached to food provision should improve patient perception of food quality and choice, whilst potentially
delivering small reductions in the revenue cost of food provision, on the wards where such an approach is to be taken.