The quality of NHS hospital meals has soared in the past year, according to new figures from the Patient Environment Action Team.
The annual survey - which includes feedback from patients and healthcare teams - has monitored hospital food since the Better Hospital Food programme was launched in May 2001.
This year, nearly 84% of hospital meals were rated as excellent or good, up from 58% in 2004. No hospitals were deemed unacceptable and the proportion dubbed acceptable or poor dropped from 41% to 16%.
Alison McCree, chairman of the Hospital Caterers Association, said trusts had needed time to get to grips with new measures such as chef-devised dishes, protected mealtimes and 24-hour catering. The NHS serves about 300 million meals a year costing a total £500m.
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