HOSPITAL patients in Yorkshire are more likely than those in other parts of the country to be served food from animals whose welfare falls below accepted standards.

The survey of every hospital trust in England found about 80 per cent of eggs served by hospitals in Yorkshire and Humber were from hens kept in cages, while only 18 per cent of chicken and 18 per cent of pork was from animals reared in conditions that met RSPCA welfare standards.

Alex Jackson, co-ordinator of the Campaign For Better Hospital Food, said: “It’s disgraceful for the taxpayer to pay for hospital food which causes misery to animals.

“The Government must introduce mandatory higher animal welfare standards for all hospital food in England to improve its quality and taste, and guarantee that it is produced from animals living happy lives”.

However, York Hospital pointed out that it had recently received a Good Egg Award from Compassion in World Farming.

Simon Johnson, production team leader at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are always looking for ways to provide a more ethical and sustainable food supply for the hospital and one of the things we do towards this is to source free range eggs.”