A hospital trust will return to cooking fresh meals in-house after a report showed its bought-in dinners were among the worst in the country for going to waste.
Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust, which runs City, Sandwell and Rowley Regis hospitals, was shamed for more than 20 per cent of its hospital meals remaining untouched by patients - the fifth highest in the UK.
Nearly 195,000 meals had to be thrown away, which was part of the £28 million of hospital food wasted across the country last year, according to Department of Health figures.
With the average cost at £2.65 last year, according to Hansard, it means the trust has seen £516,750 wasted.
But from today, trust bosses said they were overhauling the system, ending a contract to buy in hospital dinners from nearby Heartlands Hospital, in Bordesley Green, and having chefs at Rowley Regis Hospital cook for patients across its three sites.
Steve Clarke, deputy director of facilities at Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust, said: “Following a review of our food service, we have brought food production in-house and introduced a new a-la-carte menu with more than 20 meal choices at Sandwell and Rowley Regis hospitals, which will also be launched at City Hospital, in Winson Green, on Monday.
“We believe the improved quality and increased choice of food, and new ward service officers, will not only improve patients’ experiences on our wards, but also significantly reduce the amount of food that is wasted.”
Mr Clarke partly blamed “lack of flexibility with the contracted service.”