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Last Nine Yards – Improving hospital catering at ward level

The 'Last Nine Yards' initiative aims to deliver an excellent mealtime experience for every patient, every time. It is spearheaded by the Hospital Caterers' Association (HCA) with representatives from the Royal College of Nursing, dietetics, NHS England, caterers, and speech and language therapists and the wider facilities teams.

The Last Nine Yards forum has been considered a wide range of issues from patient crockery, water jugs and glasses to packaging. It has led to a wide range of improvements to patient choice being trialled in different locations, including the following initiatives:

  • Fresh soup
  • “Little & Often”
  • Snack choices
  • 24/7 availability
  • Extended choice for long-stay patients
  • Finger/Easy to pick up food
  • Paediatric menus