asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) whether he has given advice to health authorities on giving hospital in-patients information about the health aspects of food;(2) if he is satisfied with the health aspects of hospital food; and if he gives guidance to health authorities on this subject;(3) if he will introduce a pilot scheme in the catering department of one hospital to emphasise the health promoting role of food.
I am satisfied that health authorities are conscious of the need to provide nutritious meals for hospital patients. Most authorities employ dietitians who are available to give guidance to patients.The Department updated its advice manual to health authorities on nutrition and modified diets in 1980 and issued a special edition on catering for minority groups in 1981. Further guidance is being prepared for issue to health authorities on how patients might be made more aware of the nutritional value of different foods. I do not consider that in these circumstances a pilot scheme is necessary.