Government spending more on nutritional supplements for patients than on hospital meals
- Last Updated: 08 November 2013
New figures published by the Campaign for Better Hospital Food 8.11.13.
BAPEN is fully supportive of any campaign to improve hospital food, and agrees wholeheartedly that there should not be a situation where hungry patients are prescribed nutritional supplements in favour of food because of the poor quality meals being served in hospitals. We would emphasise, however, that while there is often a clinical need for such supplements, they should be used together with food, rather than in competition, under the guidance and support of health care professionals such as dietitians and nurses in order to provide the best possible outcome for patients. We would also point out that of the quoted figure of £300m spent by the NHS in 2012, it appears that at least 2/3 of this (£224,785,117) was spent on enteral nutrition for tube feeding, ie for those patients who, usually for medical reasons, are unable to eat. Therefore the amount spent just on oral supplements seems to be considerably less than the quoted headline figure of £300 million.