Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been accused of violating the government’s Covid-19 rule after the NHS hospital was unmasked.
The health secretary appeared in a 1-second video filmed during a visit to the Royal Berkshire Hospital to read after an independent review of the food given to patients.
However, the clip shared on Mr Hancock’s Twitter account made viewers feel that he was not wearing a face mask, a clear violation of the government’s own rules.
The guidelines state that facial coverage is required in NHS settings, including hospital and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgery.
Critics have denounced the clip and claimed that the health secretary should ‘set an example’ by wearing a mask when needed.
This is the second time in seven days that Mr. Hancock has not been wearing a mask.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been accused of violating the government’s Covid-19 rule after the NHS hospital was unmasked (image)
On October 19, Mr. Hancock received a report from number ten without covering his face in his self-driving cabinet.
This happened despite Boris Johnson instructing his ministers last month to wear masks on the backs of official vehicles – although driverless passengers have been exempted from wearing them.
In a clip shared today, Mr Hancock thanked the Great British Bake of Precious Leth, one of the consultants in the review that set out a series of recommendations for safer and more nutritious food.
He added: ‘I am here at the Royal Berkshire Hospital to begin a review of hospital meals for readings with a brilliant professional team led by Prui Leth.
The health secretary appeared in a 1-second video filmed during his visit to the Royal Berkshire Hospital after an independent review of patient meals.
This is the second time in seven days that Mr. Hancock has not been wearing a mask. On October 19, Mr. Hancock received a report from number ten without covering his face in his self-led cabinet.
‘There are some hospitals like this where the food is nutritious and really delicious.
‘And we want it to be the norm across the country. So we’re taking the reviews we’re getting and we’re going to make sure the food is part of your recovery while you’re in the hospital and that’s something you can really look forward to. “
He added: ‘We are building 40 new hospitals and first class catering will be built in those new hospitals. And of course this hospital among them is in Royal Berkshire Reading here.
‘So we’re going to make sure that hospital meals are part of the people’s recovery and and so far I’m incredibly grateful to Pree Leith and her entire team for helping us get there.
A Health Department source said Mr Hancock was socially away at the time of filming and had a mask on the rest of his hospital visit (pictured)
Health Secretary Matt Hancock (right) during a visit to the hospital today with Great British Back of Judge Pree Leith
A Labor spokesman told The Mirror: ‘Matt Hancock should set an example in the NHS.
‘It’s an epidemic, not a PR stunt.’
A Health Department source said Mr Hancock was socially distant at the time of the filming and had a mask on the rest of his hospital visit.
Viewers went to Twitter to share their thoughts.
Paul Fowler writes: ‘Matt Hancock is on fire for filming at the hospital after not wearing a mask. From time to time, Hancock makes a gorgeous camouflage of a half-century. ‘
Rebecca Mendoza said: ‘Shouldn’t you wear a mask in a hospital? Come on, Matt. ‘
Speaking during a visit to their hospital today, Boris Johnson (serving food in the picture) said that patients in the hospital ward should be served hot toast as soon as possible.
Speaking during a visit to their hospital today, Boris Johnson said patients in the hospital ward should be served hot toast around the clock.
Ms Leith – one of the consultants in the review – said hospital meals could be ‘delicious, nutritious and beautifully presented’.
The Prime Minister said: “It is very important for patients and staff that they should have hot and nutritious food in the ward and hospital at any time of the day.”
Feeding patients good quality food is ‘treatment, it’s beneficial’, he said.
During a visit to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, Mr Johnson said the construction or renovation of 40 new hospitals would “include kitchens and facilities in the wards so that people can get hot toast all day long”.
He joined the visit with Leith, who left the Conservative Party this month after the government rejected a proposal to oblige trade agreements in compliance with UK animal welfare and food security regulations.
Mr Johnson held a roll in the canteen during a visit to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading
One of the recommendations for 24/7 service providers digital menus and improved kitchens in a separate review published Monday.
The review was launched after a deadly outbreak of listiosis last year at a hospital associated with pre-packaged sandwiches and salads.
An advisory panel, including Chef Leth, has identified ways in which NHS trusts can prioritize food safety and provide more nutritious food to hospitals.
The government has said it will set up an expert group of NHS caterers, dietitians and nurses to decide on the next steps.
Leith said: ‘Hospitals provide the best class examples of how budget can serve delicious, nutritious and well-presented food.
‘Food is important not only for health but also for morale. Hospital meal times should be enjoyed and served at the moment. Their staff, patients and visitors should be encouraged to eat well at home. ‘
Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of Leon Restaurant and independent leader of the National Food Strategy, said hospitals must be a ‘guiding light’ in trying to ‘swallow the British diet, slow disaster’.
Recommendations include improved kitchens that range from new mothers in the maternity ward to hungry patients after long hunger strikes due to surgery and needs for overnight staff.
In today’s shared clip, Mr. Hancock thanks Ms. Leth (pictured serving a meal with Mr. Hancock and Mr. Johnson during today’s visit), one of the review consultants who sets out a series of recommendations for safer and more nutritious food.
The Prime Minister had a drink in the canteen during a visit to the Royal Berkshire Hospital today
The review further states that digital menu and food ordering systems can improve communication between dietitians and caterers by considering patient needs, reducing food waste and providing patients with the right food for recovery.
A compliant set of national professional standards for NHS chefs was also recommended, along with mandatory professional development, including appropriate mandatory food hygiene and allergen training.
Enhancing the leadership role of nurses, dietitians, caterers and staff in overseeing food services can help ensure that nutritious foods are part of a patient recovery plan, the report said.
Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, said: ‘Good food is the key to good health, so what patients eat at the hospital should be appetizing and nutritious for everyone.
“It is also true that the NHS has continued its role in tackling the country’s obesity crisis by helping people eat better.”
A 2018 staff survey found that 58% of patients rated hospital meals as too good or too good and 39% of hospital staff felt the meals and eating facilities provided at their workplaces were poor, the Department of Health said.