GWENT-based chef Stephen Terry has lent his expertise to a Wales-wide makeover of hospital menus.

Mr Terry, who owns and runs The Hardwick restaurant at Abergavenny, was involved – along with fellow star chef James Martin – in drawing up a database of more than 90 recipes intended for use in all hospitals.

The aim of the All Wales Hospital Menu Framework, launched by health minister Lesley Griffiths yesterday is to ensure patients have tasty choices which can address individual nutritional requirements.

The recipe database currently consists of 18 soups, 38 main course items and 42 desserts, snacks and accompaniments that have been analysed and meet strict nutritional standards.

Mr Terry, who has contributed lamb shoulder and potato pie to the list, said: “I am very proud to have been able to contribute to such an important and essential initiative.”

Mr Martin, who worked at Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, as part of his involvement with the framework, said he thoroughly enjoyed taking part.

“I really feel that food is a medicine. Patients should look forward to meal times as one of the highlights of their day,” he added.

Ms Griffiths called hospital food an essential part of patient care.

“Food should be viewed with the same importance as medication, with catering recognised as a clinical support service,” she said.

“We are leading the way in Wales by improving hospital food with an all-Wales menu.

“Standardising the food on offer so patients are assured of good food, wherever they are treated, will help them back to health and improve their experience of hospital greatly.”

Judith John, consultant dietitian with Public Health Wales, said introducing the new menus and getting feedback from patients and nurses is the next stage.

“This is only phase one of a continual process for developing a quality food service for the hospital population of Wales, using a menu framework with standardised recipes and methods, which have all been nutritionally analysed to meet the required standards,” she said.