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To think hospital food should be better?

(65 Posts)
Tortycat Tue 14-Nov-17 20:37:11

Currently in hospital with poorly dc2. I cannot believe how bad the food is! There's posters everywhere about 5 a day etc, but the food is a sea of beige. Tonight dc2 (15 months) was offered chicken nuggets and chips. As I'm still bf i was offered food (cheese sandwich). No idea what parents are meant to eat o/w as i cant take him off the ward and the only other food for adults here is a snack machine with chocolates (and no change machine). Breakfast was white toast, lunch was sausage and chips/ mash, or macaroni cheese. Overboiled carrot was only veg available.

I know costs have to be kept down, but how can they not serve healthier options (cheap stuff like baked potatoes, lentil soup, salads etc)? Any long term patients must be constipated and scurvy ridden! Needless to say ds hasn't been tempted to eat anything since we came in except some raspberries dh brought in

hotbutteredcrumpetsandtea Tue 14-Nov-17 20:43:21

It should be, but who is going to pay for it? Everybody wants lower taxes and more services. There is no money for better food.

It should be a paid service where those that can afford it can buy quality food and subsidise those who can't. IMO.

Toddlerteaplease Tue 14-Nov-17 20:53:19

To be honest. I just want my patients to eat.no matter what it is. If they have a few days eating junk then so be it. We have a good choice of veg etc though.

Tortycat Tue 14-Nov-17 21:10:31

I cant see how chips and nuggests and sausages are cheaper than baked potatoes and soup? Surely both can be frozen and reheated?

And fine to have all options to encourage as many kids as possible to eat (dc1 would jump at sausage and chips) but i just think there should be some healthy options. Even the yoghurts were sugar laden ones - natural ones can't be that much more expensive.

HelenaDove Tue 14-Nov-17 21:14:45

YANBU OP Especially with all the press releases they do about obesity.

It smacks of double standards.

Sirzy Tue 14-Nov-17 21:18:12

For poorly children generally they aim simply for getting food into them and for most the “beige” foods is going to be more appealing at that point.

Our hospital offer the adult menu to children to which does have quite a decent variety but most still go for the simple options!

user1488397844 Tue 14-Nov-17 21:20:21

I believe the food is catered towards what the majority of children will eat and also things that can be frozen. With salads etc there would be a lot of waste, and our local hospital does provide fruit. I also think parents/carers mostly bring snacks for their children if able to. I would imagine if your child doesn't like whats on offer there would be another option i.e vegetarian dishes. It may not be entirely healthy but trying to tempt unwell children into having a little taste of food can be hard and painstaking so if chips is all they want when ill in hospital I have no issue with that. As an aside the hospital I work in no longer serves chips in the canteen & our vending machines are full of healthy snacks, much to the dismay of parents who want a chocolate bar after spending all night in A&E with their kids!

Toddlerteaplease Tue 14-Nov-17 21:33:58

We have salads and they look really nice. We offer the adult and a kids menu. So good variety. And if you fancy a curry the halal meals are very good.

Longdistance Tue 14-Nov-17 21:37:30

The food is shit. They stick to a budget per person. I’ve stayed in a hospital in Oz and it’s no better, so not an NHS thing. Maybe get some in to bring food in if it’s not great.
My dps are from another country, and the hospital doesn’t provide food, people bring it in 🤷🏼‍♀️

lovewatchingrainfall Tue 14-Nov-17 21:37:31

I think it would depend on which hospital your in. I was last week in hospital with my youngest and the choice was amazing. We had four hot meals to choose from and cold options. The sandwiches were made with proper ham (not the wafer thin cheap stuff) a fruit option.

However a hospital approx 30 minutes away have awful food.

Sashkin Tue 14-Nov-17 21:43:17

It’s a cost issue. We spend something ridiculous like £2 per patient per day on hospital food in the UK, that is why it is shit.

It’s also much harder to reheat jacket potatoes and keep them edible than it is to deep-fry chips and nuggets and keep them under a hot lamp for hours.

I had a long admission earlier in the year, and the food was so crap that my mum and husband just brought me food in to eat instead (I’m vegetarian so the choice was even more limited and repetitious).

DH was admitted to hospital in Switzerland a few years ago, and the food was bloody amazing. Fresh orange juice and a choice of continental or hot cooked breakfast in the morning. A typical dinner had soup and salad to start, then foil-baked salmon, new potatoes and baby veg. Then fresh fruit salad and a little chocolate torte (with the hospital logo stencilled on it, FFS).

Lots of tiny delicious little morsels, rather than a huge ladle of beige watery sludge. It was like being in a hotel.

ghostyslovesheets Tue 14-Nov-17 21:43:32

I found it mixed - DD was under the dietitian team as she had lost weight so she got things she liked - such as jacket spuds and macaroni cheese

I didn't get fed - I had limited options from the hospital shop (mainly sandwiches) or microwave meals in the parent room - I had to ask staff to sit with her while I went but normally there was a student/auxilliary/play staff member who would do that for 20 mins

it wasn't great but I was more concerned about her than the standard of food

Sashkin Tue 14-Nov-17 21:45:05

Found some photos. So much nicer than NHS food.

Clareel Tue 14-Nov-17 21:50:59

Honestly yes, of course it should be better. However considering the NHS is on its knees and funding isn't even available for some lifesaving medical treatments, I don't think it is a priority.

I'm actually quite suprised that you where offered a sandwich.

UnicornMadeOfPinkGlitter Tue 14-Nov-17 21:52:31

I know they are on limited budgets but the trust here serves awful food.
I was admitted recently and while for the first day I was too ill to eat, the last thing I wanted when I was beginning to feel better was powdered tomato soup or overcooked lasagne with mashed potatoes and green beans that had been cooked so long they were grey.
I lived on cream crackers and rubbery warm cheddar once a day for the few days I was there.

Luckily my stay was only fir a few days as I had no one to bring me food. Dh was home with the dc and he doesn’t drive. I had taken my debit card but couldn’t leave the ward to go to the in hospital M&S or canteen.

UnicornMadeOfPinkGlitter Tue 14-Nov-17 21:53:00

Oh but yet they have free fast speed WiFi!!!

shouldnthavesaid Tue 14-Nov-17 21:55:22

Yanbu. I was in and out like a yoyo last year, thankfully I had my colleagues working across hospital and 'insider knowledge' on the menu - knew if you write chips you get them, same for mini pizza , kfc type chicken, fish fingers, sausage rolls, baked potato with cheese and beans. Worked well at times - I explained it to ward mates as well so we all had chicken and chips, much nicer than stew!

Hospital also allowed chinese and dominos deliveries oddly enough! Dominos would actually come to the ward and drop off!

EvilDoctorBallerinaRoastDuck Tue 14-Nov-17 21:58:47

Last time I remember the food in hospital was 10 years ago when DD2 was born. I only remember cauliflower cheese, followed by cauliflower cheese bubble and squeak the next night. I had to explain to a Canadian woman what bubble and squeak was. It's memorable because I love cauliflower cheese. I'm pretty sure there was veg with every meal.

Tortycat Tue 14-Nov-17 22:02:15

I'd be happy to buy my own food but no idea how as i cant take ds off the ward and i dont want to leave him with anyone else as a) they seem really busy and b) he's super clingy and would wail. Would love a decent curry!

That food in switzerland looks amazing! Not sure how they fund there health services.. by contrast dcs dinner tonight

DropZoneOne Tue 14-Nov-17 22:02:17

Friend of mine did some consulting work for local hospital trust 10 years ago. Budget was 50p per meal.

I'm vegetarian. The only dinner offered for two days running was cauliflower cheese. Not ideal when recovering from c-section! The midwives stressed the food wasn't enough for post-partum and told OH to bring me high calorie foods.

I'd rather money went on treatment than food though. I can sort extra food, i can't sort new drugs or surgeons.

kalinkafoxtrot45 Tue 14-Nov-17 22:04:38

I remember the Western General in Edinburgh had nice food cooked on the premises and the Royal Infirmary horrible inedible gunk from a catering firm. Surely decent meals are part of helping patients recover - even the cheapest food is a total waste if it's so revolting that it's not eaten.

Motoko Tue 14-Nov-17 22:05:25

At my hospital the food is awful.

Breakfast is either cereal or white sliced bread and jam (no toast, they're not allowed to cook toast apparently).

Lunch and dinner are brought along in a hot trolley (you don't get to choose from a menu like in some hospitals). The meat eaters get a choice of two options, and there's one veggie option. Occasionally they might have some spare cheese or ham salads, but there are no carbs or dressings with those.
Pudding was jelly or a hot pudding such as crumble and custard.

I hated the food so much, I sometimes skipped the main and just had a pudding. Luckily there was a Costa, so when my husband came, he'd take me down there and I'd have a lovely coffee and something to eat there.

baffledcoconut Tue 14-Nov-17 22:05:26

I had to WhatsApp a friend to try and work out what I was being fed when I was in post c section.

Went hungry instead because even after tasting it I couldn’t work it out.

Then discovered deliveroo 😂

makingmiracles Tue 14-Nov-17 22:06:01

On postnatal ward we actually ordered Chinese in!
Recently was in with 15m old daughter, who conveniently had just stopped bf a month before, and as she wasn’t bf, they would not feed me or allow free parking(whatever the f parking has got to do with bf?!)
The food was diabolical, all they had on offer for dd for bf was cereals, but no toast as toaster was broken and no other options like porridge. Definately been a lesson learned and if I have to go in again with any of the Dcs I will be making sure we all have bits and pieces to eat.

Guavaf1sh Tue 14-Nov-17 22:06:07

YABU - it's not a restaurant

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