£22m of hospital food left uneaten

One in 12 hospital meals is returned uneaten, costing more than £22m a year, according to figures from NHS trusts.

Data from 200 hospital and mental health trusts in England suggests nine million meals (almost 8 per cent) go back untouched every year. Seven trusts have 20 per cent or more of all meals returned uneaten.

It comes ahead of a Care Quality Commission report on 100 hospitals which will warn of poor NHS practice over nutrition for the elderly, with hospitals frequently clearing trays before people have a chance to eat and elderly people not given help with meals. PA

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