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CQC to inspect hospitals on food standards after patient deaths

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Hospital food standards are set to be put on a statutory footing, with trusts held to account by the Care Quality Commission, according to the chair of a government-commissioned review.

Philip Shelley, who led the review into hospital food following seven patient deaths from listeria last year, told HSJ the incident was an “absolute condemnation” and that trusts must use the review to improve food standards.

The review, published last month, also calls for capital investment to refurbish hospital kitchens and replace old and inefficient equipment, which is likely to cost several hundreds of millions of pounds.

The government has accepted the recommendations and Mr Shelley will lead a group of experts to oversee the review’s implementation across the NHS during the next three years.

Among the review’s recommendations is the “enhanced role” for the CQC when it inspects NHS trusts.

The review states there is currently “very little evidence to prove that food and drink standards are being monitored closely enough” and it therefore recommends placing the standards on a statutory footing from which the CQC can hold trusts to account.

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Source: HSJ, 17 November 2020

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