Less than half of NHS patients, visitors and employees have positive views of hospital food, according to research.
A YouGov survey for Premier Foods found that only 46% of patients and visitors, and 43% of employees, had positive views of food in NHS hospitals.
Premier Foods unveiled its Hospital Solutions Guide at the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) National Leadership and Development Forum last week (6 April). Alongside recipes based on the research, the guide provides advice on the latest changes to hospital food regulations and tips on catering for food allergies and special dietary requirements.
The research also revealed one third of respondents who had eaten as a patient in an NHS hospital in the past five years wanted to see more satisfying snacks and light food options available outside of meal times, and many wanted to see more freshly cooked food on the menu.
Nearly half of staff members surveyed said they make sure they eat healthily (46%), with 41% regularly checking sugar levels in products before purchasing. In addition, only 17% of staff agreed or strongly agreed that they felt satisfied after eating a hospital meal. Premier Foods has therefore focused on filling recipes and healthy, reduced-sugar snacking options.
Ultimately, 87% of visitors had eaten in an NHS hospital when visiting a patient, highlighting the opportunity for caterers to drive footfall.
Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods, said: "We know that there is a real appetite for insight-driven menu solutions within the foodservice industry, and our new solutions brochure aims to help hospital caterers to put insight into action to help improve their offer and meet their diners' needs."
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