Ward a waste: 60,000 meals a year are binned at South Tyneside Hospital

editorial image

Hospital bosses in South Tyneside throw out more than 60,000 meals a year, claims a new study.

Pressure group the Campaign for Better Hospital Food says show that’s the number of meals binned from more than 378,000 a year at South Tyneside District Hospital.

South Tyneside Hospital.

South Tyneside Hospital.

The group has analysed data from the Home and Communities Agency and Acute NHS Trusts nationwide it says show more than 30million NHS patient meals are thrown away each year, with each trust binning an average of 190,994 meals.

It claims South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust produced 378,377 meals in a year of which 60,388 went uneaten - a waste rate of 19.76%

Alex Jackson, co-ordinator of the Campaign for Better Hospital Food, said: “The Government has been steadfast in its refusal to have the quality of hospital food and hospital food waste monitored by an independent organisation.

“Instead it’s happy to use dodgy statistics to bury the true extent of patient dissatisfaction with what they’re being served. But these shocking figures lift the lid on the appalling state of hospital food in our country.

Our catering staff provide freshly cooked food every day and we often receive high praise from patients regarding the quality and quantity of the meals.

Steve Jamieson, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s Director of Corporate Services and Estates

“Patients need nourishing, wholesome meals which are appetising and tasty to eat, not soulless, factory-made food they clearly can’t stomach.”

Steve Jamieson, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s Director of Corporate Services and Estates, said: “We are always conscious of the need to reduce waste in all forms across the Trust.

“With regard to food, we set ourselves a target of 3%for untouched meals.

“We monitor this at every mealtime and we have consistently been below this figure for some time now.

Steve Jamieson, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust's Director of Corporate Services.

Steve Jamieson, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust's Director of Corporate Services.

“Our catering staff provide freshly cooked food every day and we often receive high praise from patients regarding the quality and quantity of the meals.

“They tell us that the food is tasty, fresh and varied. In the 2014 results of the annual Patient-led Assessments of the Care Environment, which look at various standards in NHS hospitals, our food scored well over 90%.”

People have say on Gazette Facebook page

Keith Hunter wrote: “Should be grateful that you get free meals, probably all get stopped in the future.”

Kirsty Luther said: “I was in hospital two and a half weeks ago for two days and I actually quite enjoyed the meals. I ate better in there than I would at home.”

Louise Murray commented: “Having been in hospital recently I’d say they weren’t great. Dry bread for breakfast. Veg either rock hard & undercooked or over cooked mush. Obsessed with putting gloopy gravy on everything even when you don’t ask for it. Soup wasn’t bad tasting but massively over salted.

“Very odd menu combinations. Meals described as something you recognise & think you’d like but something completely different when it turns up. Should have access to fresh cold water, not a fresh jug in the morning that is warm within an hour.”

Sharon Falkinder wrote: “Disgusting, I was on the stroke ward. I was in for six days, I got by on fruit that my family brought in. The menu was a very odd combination.”