The professional hospital caterer moves with the times and the Association is here to ensure that the most up to date information is available. The Hospital Caterer, the official journal of the Hospital Caterers Association is published six times each year. To download or view the latest edition online click one of the button to the right.

A range of other relevant publications are available below. Click on the section to download a PDF version.

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NHS England National standards for healthcare food and drink

Every healthcare organisation has a responsibility to provide the highest level of care possible for their patients, staff and visitors. This includes the quality, nutritional value and the sustainable aspects of the food and drink that is served, as well as the overall experience and environment in which it is eaten.


All Wales Nutrition and Catering Standards for Food and Fluid Provision for Hospital Inpatients

Hospital food is an essential part of inpatient care. Appetising food will encourage patients to eat well, and must contain the nutrients they need to recover from surgery or illness. Catering staff, dietitians, clinical staff, porters, nurses, speech and language therapists, healthcare support workers and other staff who contribute to the provision of food and fluid to hospital patients, all have an important role to play in the co-ordinated approach necessary to provide patients with a first class food service.


Care Quality Commission (CQC) – Essential Standards of Quality and Safety

Care Quality Commission Guidance about compliance. What providers should do to comply with the section 20 regulations of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Regulation 14: Meeting nutritional and hydration needs

The intention of this regulation is to make sure that people who use services have adequate nutrition and hydration to sustain life and good health and reduce the risks of malnutrition and dehydration while they receive care and treatment.

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Council of Europe Resolution Food and Nutritional Care in Hospitals (10 key characteristics)

The Council of Europe Resolution contains the 10 key characteristics of good nutritional care in hospitals.


Food in Hospitals – National Catering and Nutrition Specification for Food and Fluid Provision in Hospitals in Scotland

Eating well and enjoying food is fundamentally important for every individual’s health and wellbeing. In a hospital setting appealing food and good nutrition is more than this, here it is vitally important.

This Food in Hospitals Specification 2008 has been revised and updated to support Scottish NHS Boards in implementing:

  • the Healthcare Improvement Scotland Food, Fluid and Nutritional Care Standards specifically Standards 3, 4 and 53 ; and
  • the delivery of a healthy balanced diet for patients who are considered to be ‘nutritionally well’.


Hospital Food and Drink Strategy (DoH) – Food and Drink in NHS Hospitals – England

An independent group established by the Department of Health and led by Dianne Jeffrey, Chairman of Age UK., on which the HCA took a major role in developing the outcomes of the plan.

Every hospital has a responsibility to provide the highest level of care possible for their patients and this, without question, includes the quality and nutritional value of the food that is served and eaten.

Toolkit to support the Food and Drink Strategy

A hospital Food and Drink toolkit to support the development of a hospital food and drink strategy. For further information, please see the following link



Guide to the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative by Premier Foods

Welcome to the next step in our journey of assisting caterers to provide creative, tasty and inspirational recipe solutions for dysphagia sufferers that will ensure dignity in dining. In this latest guide, we aim to outline the new international dysphagia guidelines, and provide tips and advice for caterers as the industry begins to adopt the new framework.


Nursing Care Standards for Patient Food in Hospital – Northern Ireland

Nutrition and the meal experience are of vital importance to the patient in hospital. Not only is food necessary for life and represents a basic human right, but it is also a source of great pleasure, with important social, cultural, and religious functions all of which need consideration within a hospital setting.


Standards for food, fluid and nutritional care – Scotland

Food, fluid and nutrition are fundamental to health and wellbeing, and therefore fundamental to quality and safety in healthcare.

These standards replace the previous 'Clinical Standards for Food, Fluid and Nutritional Care in hospitals' published by NHS Quality Improvement Scotland in 2003.

This document specifies a minimum set of performance criteria for food, fluid and nutritional care. The standards apply to the care of all patients, paediatric and adult, in both community health care and hospital care in Scotland, whether directly provided by an NHS board or secured on behalf of an NHS board.

These standards can be used to reinforce national consistency and drive improvement in food, fluid and nutritional care across Scotland.

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The Nutrition and Hydration Digest, 2nd Edition

The BDA Food Services Specialist Group are delighted to present the second edition of the Nutrition and Hydration Digest – updated for 2019. This significantly revised and updated document builds on the success of the first digest document and will replace it as one of the five key documents forming national hospital food standards in England, with impact on standards across the UK.

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