Bury St Edmunds hospital food among Bake Off judge's top picks
The quality of food at a Suffolk hospital has been highlighted in a national report led by a Great British Bake Off judge .
Celebrity chef, Prue Leith, has been working with NHS leaders to identify the best catering at hospitals and also how to improve it in the future.
The food at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds is mentioned as one of just two dozen 'best practice' sites nationally.
The report details how patients, staff, and visitors, are served the same food across the hospital, with chief executive Dr Stephen Dunn and other leaders regularly eating in the staff dining room.
It praises the arrangements for overnight staff - highlighted as a frequent problem at other NHS sites - with night shift workers having access to hot meals via vending machines and microwaves.
The review calls the trust "an exemplar site for using volunteers", with around 50,000 hours of volunteer time a year given to help patients with their meals.
Catering manager Vanessa Theobald, said: "Our volunteers help with various aspects of patients’ needs, which includes feeding patients and helping them to fill out their menus.
"They are a very valuable aid to making sure that the patients who need assistance get the help they are looking for."
The catering team is always on the look out for new ways to support patients, and has introduced an 'afternoon tea' service providing an extra special culinary treat for inpatients.
"We are very proud of our afternoon teas, and over the summer we offered this service with a twist by introducing a picnic option so people could meet up outside whilst observing social distancing."
The report makes a number of recommendations around the quality and availability of food. The report also says catering services should be a priority for hospital building schemes such as the planned reconstruction of West Suffolk Hospital, the funding for which was confirmed earlier this month."
West Suffolk Hospital has around 430 beds open at one time it serves a population of around 280,000 within 600 square miles.