THE trust which runs Basingstoke hospital has been rated as among the worst in the country for the quality of its food.

A report, produced by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, rated Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), which runs Basingstoke, Andover and Winchester hospitals, as being well below the national average for patient food.

The report was compiled after assessments were carried out by Patient-Led Assessment of the Care Environment and produced with input from patients, governors and other representatives of the public.

It rates trusts on four categories- ‘cleanliness’, ‘food’, ‘privacy, dignity and wellbeing’, and ‘condition, appearance and maintenance’.

HHFT received a score of only 77.46 per cent for their food, putting it in the bottom five in that category of all the 289 organisations assessed.

The average score in the food category nationwide was 88.8 per cent.

The trust was assessed using criteria including the organisational aspects of the catering service, including choice, 24-hour availability, meal times, and access to menus, as well as an assessment of the food service at ward level and the taste and temperature of food.

HHFT fared better in the other categories, scoring 94.35 per cent for cleanliness, 82.42 per cent for privacy, dignity and well-being and 88.26 per cent for condition, appearance and maintenance.

Chief executive of HHFT, Mary Edwards said “We are constantly working to improve our standards and we take feedback about our food very seriously.

“We know food and nutrition is important for patient recovery and we get a lot of positive feedback about our food from patients.

“All our food is cooked on the premises and we use local suppliers wherever possible and our chefs have won national awards.

“We have identified a number of areas to improve further and we will look into any other specific issues that our patients have raised. “We are really grateful to the volunteers who did the survey and although the results are disappointing we know where we need to improve.”

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