Evaluating Hospital food Service : Nutritional Standards and Staff Views
Paper 626-Provision of high quality hospital food that meets patient’s nutritional needs requires attention to detail across hospital food services. There is limited evidence on the nutritional adequacy of hospital food and views of nursing and catering staff involved in its provision. The aim was to evaluate the adequacy of hospital food in a district general hospital for patients on normal and texture modified diets against agreed nutritional standards and to explore staff views on the provision of hospital food provision. We conducted three studies, incorporating quantitative and qualitative methodology that investigated different aspects of hospital food services. Food preparation and service was observed over three days. Weights of ingredients; methods of preparation which deviated from instructions and portion sizes were recorded. Nutritional values of meals were calculated and compared against nutritional standards. Six interviews with catering and nursing staff exploring their views on the provision of hospital food were recorded, transcribed and analysed for emerging themes. Food served to patients requiring a normal diet met the nutritional standards although portion sizes varied. Texture modified food provided below nutritional standards for macro and micro nutrients. Themes emerging from interviews with staff were related to reasons that prevented adequate provision of food however ideas for promoting food service delivery were identified. Staff views on provision of hospital food will help to inform changes required to reduce the variance in hospital food portions and the low nutritional value of texture modified diets.