Some Scottish hospitals are spending just 94p per patient meal, the BBC has learned. Figures obtained by BBC Scotland show Borders hospitals spent £3.18 per day per patient on meals and snacks. Other health boards such as NHS Ayrshire and Arran and Dumfries and Galloway spent a similar amount. NHS Grampian spent £3.50 per day which it said broke down as 94p for each of the two main meals and £1.62 for snacks and drinks.  Nutritional expert Prof Mike Lean said: “There must be a lower limit below which quality will be sacrificed in a variety of ways.  “Meal quality has a number of elements: it has to look good, taste good, texture must be good and it has a biological importance – so it must be nutritionally good.” A spokeswoman at NHS Ayrshire & Arran said the board provided patients with “high quality and nutritionally-balanced meals, based on a wide menu choice, at an average cost of £3.20 a day”.  She said food and drink was bought through national procurement contracts to get the best deals possible. NHS Lothian said its spent an average of £3.82 per patient across its hospitals, but costs ranged from £2.70 to just over £5.  A spokeswoman said: “We are constantly working to harmonise products, recipes and methods to reduce this cost range.  “It is important to note that, in this case, cost is not a reflection of quality since St John’s hospital kitchen provides our cheapest meals but is widely recognised for the high quality meals served.”

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