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Celebrity chef’s mission to improve food at Princess Alexandra

Politics / Tue 25th Feb 2014 at 05:48am

CELEBRITY CHEF, James Martin was shocked at how small a budget the Princess Alexandra Hospital has to spend on meals for its patients.

His visit last year was premiered on BBC TV on Monday morning (Feb 24th) as he toured hospitals trying to improve the quality of hospital food.
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On his first day at the PAH, he discovered that the budget per meal was £2.72.

Mr Martin said: “This is the smallest budget of any hospital I have come across.”

The food budget was £330,000 for the year.

The celebrity chef was concerned that the use of ready made meals was not efficient and could also lead to job losses.

During his visit he was very impressed with the commitment, organisation and professionalism of the kitchen team.

He visited patient who overall seemed quite happy with the food.

He then went to the restaurant, which again impressed him but felt that it was not maximising its potential.

It was all a question of budget, so Mr Martin interviewed chief executive, Melanie Walker who detailed the financial situation of the PAH.

Ms Walker told him: “We have the dubious honour of being the trust with the highest percentage deficit of near to £15 million.

“There comes a point where we have to think very differently about how we run the hospital.”

When it came to the cook/chill issue, Martin felt it was a series of changes such as changes to the menu rollover that could help the menu and the budget.

Mr Martin then looked at photos of hospital meals submitted by patients from all over the country. Martin was shocked and said that this was the responsibility of people “who do not care”.

In praise of PAH, he said there were many hospitals and organisations that won’t “let them in”

The series continues next week

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