Dietary Expenditure

Oral Answers to Questions — Hospitals – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th December 1954.

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Photo of Mr William Wilkins Mr William Wilkins , Bristol South 12:00 am, 13th December 1954

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that in mental hospitals the daily diet allowance per patient is 2s. 5d., and in general hospitals 3s. 5d.; that, owing to increased costs, it is impossible to provide an adequate balanced diet within this limit; and if he will frame his Estimates for next year on a basis more in keeping with the current cost of food.

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

I will certainly take into account the effect of food prices in considering the estimates for the hospital service for next year, but no daily diet allowance per patient is fixed centrally, although in some instances a daily rate has been indicated by the regional board to help to secure that expenditure as a whole does not exceed their allocation.

Photo of Mr William Wilkins Mr William Wilkins , Bristol South

Can the Minister say whether the regional boards have, or have not, to seek his approval for the cost of diet per patient? Are the boards free agents in the matter of the amount of money spent on the diet of the patients?

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

Yes, they are. I am aware of the letter from the South-West Regional Board, which I think the hon. Member has in mind, but I indicated neither approval nor disapproval.