WIGAN’S hospitals threw away more than £14,000-worth of food last year.
Figures released after a Freedom of Information Act request shows that kitchen staff at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust, were chucking around seven per cent of meals – to the value of £14,584 – in the bin last year, as they were left uneaten by patients.
Separate statistics also reveal that for the last financial year 2010/11 the Trust spent £6.71 per patient each day on meals and 802,635 meals were requested.
But the Trust was not the worst performing in terms of food wastage, as Tameside Hospital threw away 44,876 meals, each meal costing almost £1 and Pennine Acute Trust got rid of food to the value of £33,439.
The best-performing trust was Salford Royal where staff said there was virtually no wastage following the introduction of a same-day menu ordering system.
A spokesman for WWL NHS Foundation Trust said: “Not all the hospitals operate the same systems or spend the same on patient meals. WWL operates a bulk service which can generate high waste.
“To reduce this, our catering staff visit the wards every day to take patient meal orders directly from patients wherever possible, these then are collated and form the ‘picking sheets’ for each ward trolley.
“We are currently working with nursing and are launching our Recipe for Success, which will see the relaunch of protected mealtimes, and a bigger emphasis on the patient experience at mealtimes.
“Catering, along with our IT department are in the final development phase of an ‘ipad’ type ordering system which incorporates pictures to assist patients who have difficulty reading. Catering staff will still take patient meal orders and we are hopeful this will assist in controlling waste from patient meals further.”