BRADFORD hospital chiefs have vowed to dish up improved meals for patients after scoring low in a national league table.

Bradford Royal Infirmary scored only 77.61 per cent for the quality of the meals on its wards. This figure puts it 1,177 out of the 1,257 hospitals ranked from across England.

St Luke's Hospital notched up 88.94 per cent and 83.86 per cent for quality and choice respectively, ranking it 947th nationally.

But Westwood Park fared better with a rating of 98.91 per cent for quality and 99.58 per cent for choice, for a rating of 271st.

Eccleshill Community Hospital achieved 99.4 per cent quality and 99.58 per cent choice.

Andrea Dalton, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's non-clinical support services general manager, says the group has already made changes, including having serviettes on all wards, toast always on the breakfast menu, introduced a lighter bites menu and surveyed their patients about the timing of its meals.

She said: "The food we serve our patients is extremely important to us and there is considerable work ongoing to improve the patient choice and quality of our menus, and to drive up standards.

"We are delighted that two of our community hospitals, Eccleshill and Westwood Park, were rated among the top sites in the northern region for their food and nutrition scores, St Luke's patient satisfaction was good and while our BRI score was extremely disappointing, it is improving and has risen since last year's report."

Meanwhile, Airedale General Hospital was rated 90.86 per cent for quality of its food and 83.09 per cent for choice.

All of the hospitals in the district offered fruit every time and their menus have been given the all-clear by dieticians.

Rob Dearden, director of nursing for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said they were pleased with their performance in the league table, but would continue to improve.

He said: “We are really pleased with these figures published in the final report of The Hospital Food Standards Panel and the PLACE data for our hospital which shows an improvement in the quality of our hospital food.

“We know that nutritious food is really important for the treatment and rehabilitation of our patients and we will continue to work with Sodexo, our catering company to make sure that our meals are as healthy as possible.

"We will also be reviewing the new guidance on food standards and always welcome any feedback from patients and members of the public.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "We are making the NHS more transparent, giving patients the power to compare food on wards and incentivising hospitals to raise their game."

The league tables were published on the NHS Choices website and follow inspections, held between March and June this year.

Elsewhere, Calderdale Hospital notched up a 100 per cent rating for its food.