An Audit of Menus in Three Hospitals in Wales against the All Wales Nutrition and Catering Standards for Food and Fluid Provision for Hospital Inpatients
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Welsh Government standards for hospital food aim to ensure good nutritional care as part of a strategy to address malnutrition in hospitals in Wales. Methods: An audit of food provision in three hospitals in Wales with differing food service systems against Welsh Government standards, using menu and nutritional analysis. Results: On average, the hospitals audited were compliant with 69% (range 64–74) of standards assessed. Compliance was greater in hospitals where a registered dietitian had conducted nutritional analysis of the menu at the planning stage and where an in-house food production method was used. The energy content of menus was generally acceptable, but there were exceptions including for soup and desserts. The range in protein content of main meals was large and protein content was too low in some instances, particularly for vegetarian meals. Patient choice for first course items was below the standard in all hospitals and for main meals was overall sufficient, although not consistently for vegetarian meals. Missing data limited the assessment of some audit criteria. Conclusions: No hospital audited was fully compliant with the standards assessed and more can be done to improve hospital food services in Wales to bring them in line with Welsh Government standards and help to address malnutrition. A multidisciplinary approach, including a registered dietitian, is recommended.
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