Changing the conversation about health

Prue Leith is latest star name to try to improve hospital food, saying meals should give ‘pleasure and comfort’

Television star Prue Leith, a judge on Channel 4 baking show The Great British Bake Off, is set to advise hospital caterers on how to improve food for patients.

The high-profile recruitment comes after the government announced in June that it was launching a review to improve the standard of hospital meals, of which 140million are served annually.

Great British Bake Off star Prue Leith has announced that she will be advising on a government review of hospital food (Picture: Prue Leith/Instagram)
The expert cook posted the news on her Instagram account, saying ‘good healthy food would improve recovery for patients’

Leith said she hoped to help stop ‘unpalatable food’ being served to those in UK hospitals. 

She joins a long line of famous-name chefs who’ve worked with the government to improve food standards – including Albert Roux, Loyd Grossman and, more recently, James Martin. 

A 2013 report criticised £50million wasted on schemes that had failed to improve food quality in the NHS

The review will examine how meals are prepared, potentially increasing in-hospital catering and aiming to use more locally-sourced, fresh produce.

The cookery star said: ‘Millions of pounds are wasted in hospitals with food ending up in the bin, unpalatable food being the main complaint. 

Leith also posted a photograph of a current hospital meal, saying it was ‘impossible’ to make a healthy three-course meal with a drink for £1.49

“I’m delighted that at long last Downing Street and the Department of Health have decided to do something about it. “A hospital meal should be a small highlight, a little pleasure and comfort, and it should help, not hinder, the patient’s recovery.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed the reviewsaying: ‘Guaranteeing hospitals serve nutritional, tasty and fresh meals will not only aid patient recovery, but also fuel staff and visitors as they care for loved ones and the vulnerable.”