Joined up thinking and the NHS

Average cost of a day's bed in an NHS hospital: £225 according to this NHS length-of-stay reckoner. Note that this is a standard bed, not an acute care bed; people in these beds have a reasonable prospect of going home.

Amount spent per head on patient food in over 30 NHS trusts: less than £5 according to a survey of NHS trusts. Note that some trusts spend up to £20 per head, but others less than £3 per head. Note also that this is food for an entire day.

If you want patients to be fit enough to go home, they have to be healthy. If you want someone to be healthy you have to feed them. (You also have to let them get good quality sleep, which is why 14 people crammed into a ward is demented.) Why is this concept so hard to grasp? The only explanation I can think of is that hospital managers want to make a hospital stay such an uncomfortable, miserable, gosh-darned dreadful experience that patients would rather go home and expire than stay there and survive.

In Canada, I've seem hospitals with a Tim Hortons cafe. Now that's a recuperative aid I could get behind.

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