Why should hospital food be free?

Why should hospital food be free?

Why should hospital food be free?

First published in Readers' letters

SIR – WITHOUT any doubt hospital food should be nutritional and have a content which is best suited to helping sick people get better. But why should it be free?

When people are at home they have to spend money buying and preparing their food. Under the present arrangement people SAVE money when they are in hospital. Why, therefore, should they expect a service in hospital which they probably don’t get at home? After all it is a National Health service not a National Hotel service.

Even a nominal charge of £10 or £12 per day would make a vast difference to the finances of hospitals and allow enhanced focus on clinical issues and quality of medical care. It would also reduce the need for on-site shops selling “chocolate, crisps, burgers and sugar- rich fizzy drinks” which presumably is done to enhance income.

I should also imagine some hospitals (for example, Bradford) struggle to provide a variety and choice of meals suitable to the very mixed population they serve.

If we are to expect our grandchildren to have a “free” health service in the future, steps need to be taken to concentrate on giving people what they need, not what they want. To do this financial consideration and prioritisation is essential.

David Robertshaw, Ley Fleaks Road, Idle

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