HOSPITALS are spending as little as £2 feeding patients in their care each day – the same as prisons splash out on convicted murderers.
New figures reveal ten are spending less than £3.60 per patient per day on grub.
The astonishing figures sparked calls for a nationwide review of food and nutrition by the Department for Health by MPs who said they defied belief.
The Prison Services spends £2.02 on feeding lags.
But a survey of 87 hospitals and trusts show Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust spend £2.18 and Harrogate and District £2.43.
The Royal Brompton in Chelsea, west London claims to spend £25.27.
Yeovil District Hospital spends £1.37 per meal.
Norman Lamb, Lib Dem health spokesman, told the Sun: “We need a total review of hospital food. How can we expect people to get better when we are spending less than £2 on their meals?
“It makes me furious that you can hardly buy anything for less than a couple of pounds but yet we will stretch it out and make that into 3 meals a day in hospital.”
He added: “This why, all the while, the NHS tries to milk every bit of cash they can. Motorists are paying more in NHS car parking fees to visit their friends and relatives yet we can’t spend cash on food for patients.”
The figures come just weeks after a report found doctors and nurses enjoy better food in hospitals than the sick.
Campaign for Better Food found that fewer than one third of London hospitals serve freshly cooked meals to patients by 77 per cent fresh food for staff in canteens.
A spokesman for Harrogate District last night insisted hospitals claiming higher figures were almost certainly including labour and power costs in their calculations.
He said: “The food at Harrogate District Council is recognised by the Soil Association for being healthy and sustainable. It is produced by fully trained staff on site with fresh ingredients.”
Yeovil District said: “We use an efficient steam system for the majority of patient meals, with individual food choices cooked to order.
“This means we only cook the food which is required, ensuring it arrives fresh for each patient, with more nutritional benefits and less waste. These figures relate to meal costs only and don’t include preparation and staff costs.”
Source FOI figures for 2015-2016
Lancashire Teaching £2.18
Harrogate and District £2.43
Poole Hospital £2.78
Wrightlington, Wigan and Leigh £2.78
Countess of Chester £2.99
Royal Berkshire £3.23
South London & Maudsley £3.26
Mid Cheshire £3.30
South Staffs £3.42