Celebrity Bake Off judge is urging the NHS to focus on serving “delicious and nutritious” to all inpatients.
Prue Leith has led a review into looking at meals served in hospital and has made a series of recommendations to improve the current offerings.
She wants NHS Trusts to prioritise food safety and ensure meals are healthy which the star insists is possible to do on a budget.
The review was carried out in response to an outbreak of listeria in hospitals last year which was traced back to pre-packaged sandwiches and salads.
Recommendations that have been made include upgrading hospital kitchens so they can provide round-the-clock food service so people can eat at all hours. This would be helpful for new mothers on a maternity ward or people who had to fast before their surgery.
Pru said: “The review provides best-in-class examples of how hospitals can serve delicious, nutritious and nicely presented meals on a budget.
“Food is not only important to health, but to morale. Hospital mealtimes should be a moment of enjoyment and a pleasure to serve. They should inspire staff, patients and visitors to eat well at home.”
It has also been suggested that the NHS should consider introducing digital menus to make ordering food easier for the patient and a set of national professional guidelines for NHS chefs would ensure all meals were served to the same standard.
Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of Leon Restaurants and independent lead on the National Food Strategy review, said: “We urgently need to get to grips with the slow-motion disaster that is the British diet. If we are to succeed, hospitals must be a guiding light.”
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Every meal that patients get in hospital should be appetising and nutritious” and that the NHS should play its part in tackling the nation’s obesity crisis.”