Hospitals in St Helens half its food wastage

Whiston Hospital 'outside the new premises.
Whiston Hospital 'outside the new premises.

Hospitals in St Helens have almost halved its food wastage over the last year.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has managed to reduced the amount of left over food from 8.50 per cent in 2012/13 to 5.25 per cent in 2013/14.

We are committed to providing high quality catering for patients, visitors and staff, sourcing products locally and using Fair Trade as much as possible

A hospital spokesman

But whilst this is a great improvement, other trusts in the area are ensuring that even less food is unused, with Liverpool Heart and Chest, Royal Liverpool and Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trusts managing to waste only three per cent.

But St Helens and Knowsley Trust is still saving more food compared with Wirrall Teaching NHS Hospital, with 6.38 per cent and Walton Centre NHS Trust, at nine per cent.

The trust remains fairly neutral on meal costs, averaging £8.25 per patient each day, which has gone up from £7.80 in 2011/12. Aintree, Walton, Wirral, Liverpool Heart and Chest and Alder Hey hospitals carry a smaller bill, whilst Warrington and Halton, and Royal Liverpool hospitals have a higher fee per head each day.

St Helens and Knowsley Trust’s annual cost for 2013/14 was £2,218,134 for 692,192 requested meals, which has fluctuated over the last three years.

This sits in the middle of nearby hospitals, with Aintree, Wirral and Royal Liverpool having a higher bill, but Alder Hey, Warrington and Halton and Liverpool Heart hospital had fewer costings.

A spokesman for St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are committed to providing high quality catering for patients, visitors and staff, sourcing products locally and using Fair Trade as much as possible.

“Patients can choose from a wide range of healthy, nutritious meals, and menus are reviewed regularly to ensure the most popular dishes are available. The Trust continues to work to reduce wastage, whilst maintaining quality and choice. Figures for the number of meals provided and costs will fluctuate according to demand and activity within the hospitals. Costs per head for patient meals have risen in line with inflation.”