HC Deb 04 May 1999 vol 330 c355W
Helen Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make it his policy to require hospitals to draw up nutritional plans for patients as part of their clinical management; [82770]

(2) what action he is taking to raise awareness of the nutritional needs of patients among NHS trust managers; and if he will ensure that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence develops nutritional standards for hospital nutrition. [82771]

Ms Jowell

Clinical governance is central to the clinical care of patients, and will cover issues such as hygiene and nutrition where they have a direct impact on clinical outcomes.The current Patients' Charter includes standards about food in hospitals. Consideration is being given to how these can be taken forward in the new National Health Service Charter, enabling all aspects of nutritional care to be included in the quality agenda.

Standards of nutrition will not be set by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. NICE will set clear quality standards which will help the NHS by providing information on clinical decision making and best practice and by ensuring that patients have faster access to effective modern treatments.