Malnutrition Task Force member Phil Shelley has recently been appointed chair of the Hospital Food Review, to improve food quality in hospitals and provide consistently safe, nutritious and tasty food.
Phil says: "It is a privilege to be asked to lead such a challenge in the current climate of the NHS. The biggest element of this review is the ability to listen to colleagues, associations, and experts in their field. Food in the NHS is an emotive topic and most people have a view and/or opinion on what 'good looks like'. I hope that I give an opportunity for enough people to help provide the information required to shape the report for Matt Hancock.
There will be a review board that will be small in number, alongside a selection of groups that I will meet separately: Patient Groups, Food Suppliers, Linking Associations and NHS Colleagues.
Prue Leith has been asked to advise on the review: her experience, knowledge and public awareness will help support the profile required to maximise our industry.
There is no 'quick fix' for an industry that has been starved of investment and continually faced cuts in their food provisions budget. We can advise a position for Acute, Community and Mental Health Trusts in the hope that there will be a suitable investment. However, we must also challenge catering teams to manage their budgets – our daily costs must be comparable to like-minded sites.
I would hope that our recommendations engineer plans for the short, medium and long term future and of course I will be linking with the MTF Team to maximise their influence.