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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-21365: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 31 January 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what standards and regulations govern the (a) quality and (b) inspection of food provision in (i) hospitals and (ii) social care settings.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 19 February 2019

NHS Boards are required to comply with the ‘Food in Hospitals: National Catering and Nutrition Specification for Food and Fluid Provision in Hospitals in Scotland’ guidelines which were revised and updated March 2016 and Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Food, Fluid and Nutritional Care standards published October 2014.

NHS Boards are required to meet these standards and the specification regardless of whether the catering is provided in-house or by an external provider.

NHS Boards are currently required to self-assess their performance against the Food in Hospitals Specification, taking into account local audit information (such as regular mealtime observations conducted by NHS board staff) and results from patient experience surveys. From April 2019, a new process for the provision of detailed self-assessment and supporting evidence will go live.

Food in Hospitals provides information on standards for nutritional care, nutrient and food provision for patients within hospitals. It provides information on how the standards/guidance can be met. There is no formal inspection of food provision in Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland carries out inspection of nutritional care and hydration as part of their unannounced inspections of care of older people in acute hospitals.

The Health and Social Care Standards took effect from 1 April 2018 and are applicable across the whole of health and social care. They set out what everyone should expect when experiencing care and support, including eating and drinking. The Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland are incorporating the Standards into their inspection and quality assurance activities.