NHS hospitals spend as little as 86p per meal to feed and water patients, it was revelaed this week. According to the NHS Information Centre, more than 30 hospital trusts pay less than £5 a day on breakfast lunch and dinner for patients. That accounts for the pervasive smell of liver and cabbage, then.
The report reveals that the thriftiest trusts are the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust (£2.57 a day), Harrow Primary Care Trust (£2.75), North Somerset PCT (£2.76), North West London Hospital (£3.13) and Herefordshire PCT (£3.66). If you're a gourmand living in these counties, it may be an idea to hop over to a neighbouring area before coming down with anything nasty.
Or, simply seek out the highest spenders in the land. For patients at Wiltshire PCT, a tummy-filling £22.31 is spent per patient (bet you can get a chop-smacking ham sandwich up there), scran over at Kirklees PCT comes in at £19.81 a day, Cumbria Teaching PCT spends £17.85 and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust forks out £17.46 for three square meals.
Now that's food for thought.