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to think there should be healthy, appetising food for my friend in hospital?

(68 Posts)
deaconblue Fri 12-Jun-09 20:04:08

She's in hospital for at least 5 days after having a masectomy, feels like crap obviously and the food is so unappealing. Hardly any fresh fruit or veg (lots of tinned fruit, sponge puddings and those diced carrot and swede bits from the freezer). Her parents have been meeting her at the ward door at lunchtime (visiting starts later than lunch so they come back then, bless them) with decent meals. I don't understand why the rules which apply to schools can't also be applied to hospitals.

littleducks Fri 12-Jun-09 20:06:38

if you visit take her a meal or at least a decent snack

i wish that somebody could have done that when i was in hosp repeatedly with hyperemesis, the food did not help the sickness

HecatesTwopenceworth Fri 12-Jun-09 20:06:55

NHS? Not unreasonable, just delusional!

Seem to remember I read something like they spend 40odd pence on a hospital meal and a poundish on on a prison meal.

Perhaps she should ask to be transferred to Holloway! grin

deaconblue Fri 12-Jun-09 20:07:44

yes I took a thing of fruit salad among other things last night. Is disgraceful though

Overmydeadbody Fri 12-Jun-09 20:09:37

YANBU but you get what you pay for, and if it's NHS and she's paying nothing (apart form taxes) what do you expect?

I sympathise, you need to take in fresh fruit for her.

Portofino Fri 12-Jun-09 20:10:07

It's been a while (5 years) since I was in and I agree the food was awful! I had 2 weeks in late pregancy. Lunch involved mince mostly and then there was a sandwich and yogurt for tea. I was permanently starving! I admit i wasn;t "ill" but surely that is more reason to offer more appetising food. Get Jamie Oliver in!

Overmydeadbody Fri 12-Jun-09 20:11:06

shopping I don't think it's disgraceful. It's better than nothing after all. We are very lucky to have the NHS.

Tinned fruit may not be as nice as fresh but it is just as good nutritionally, as is frozen vegetables.

deaconblue Fri 12-Jun-09 20:12:50

but how much do the catering companies charge the NHS for each 40p meal? Was just as bad when ds was in a different hospital for a week, so hard to get him to eat at all as everything was so awful.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 12-Jun-09 20:14:59

hospital food is crap

i had a week in there over ny and had to have sandwiches for both meals as kitchen were shut

IlanaK Fri 12-Jun-09 20:16:17

I have a really vivid memory of my grandmother being in hospital for a long period of time about 10 years ago. My mum was working full time, but came home from work and cooked a full meal and took it to her each evening to make sure she ate as the food was so bad. My cousins took a lunch meal for her.

More recently, I have been in two different hospitals in the last 5 years having c-sections. The food was inedible in the first, and in the second I did not get fed at all despite being there overnight.

Today, I took him youngest son into hospital for an operation as a day case. We went privately to the Portland. He was starved during the day so was really hungry when he woke up. We ordered from a varied menu, had it brought up to his room and he had a really nice meal with fresh fruit for after. The contrast was quite significant.

And yes, we are lucky to have the NHS. However, people recover faster if they are properly fed and nourished. In the case of people like my grandmother - how much longer would she have been in hospital if there had been no family to bring her meals? She is unlikely to have eaten the hospital food and that is hardly likely to have helped her recover.

ThingOne Fri 12-Jun-09 20:16:40

The meals do meet basic nutritional standards, amazingly enough. The sponge puddings and custard are made with egg, tinned fruit is still reasonable nutrionally. Anyway, there's a national menu if you google hard enough, which will give you a laugh. It's a fortnightly rotation.

When I came out after my first long stay I started eating sponge puddings (microscopic portions) and custard, and buying tinned fruit! I was very ill and it clearly appealed wink. The next time, I was OK after about a week and just had to have food parcels brought in.

I think when they plan them they think around the tastes of older people who make up most of the patients, and things which might tempt them to eat. As well as the budget even more microscopic than my sponge puddings.

Mspontipine Fri 12-Jun-09 20:18:39

That's really sad - I must say during my stay at Lincoln hospital food was pretty fab - diy breakfast, choice of sandwiches at lunch, crisps and fruit and proper teas stews pies etc - I was pretty impressed (and surprised!)

AitchTwoOh Fri 12-Jun-09 20:23:08

it can depend hugely on who the caterers are, if it's done in-house etc. the food at my otherwise excellent hospital was disgusting, absolutely inedible.

that's not a food snob thing, the room it was served in smelled strongly of hot dog food and i genuinely couldn't go in there once it was 'cooking'. (meaning once breakfast had been put away and the silver foil packs had been brought out to sit under hot lamps until lunch/dinner.) absolutely revolting, i was so lucky that friends brought tasty things to eat.

it's a hospital in a poor area with a lot of asylum seekers etc, i just felt awful for the people who couldn't afford to bring extra. although the stench of kfc and maccie d's was also somewhat overwhelming at night.

my cousin is a nurse, used to specialise in geriatric long-stay. she said that she often had to point out to the doctors that her elderly patients were in fact dying of starvation, not what was being written on the death cert. it's a national scandal, and i am a HUGE defender of the NHS.

LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 12-Jun-09 20:24:33

I really enjoyed the food when I stayed in hosp a couple of years ago. I obviously have a soft spot for institutional food blush. Well really enjoyed might be overstating it but given the size and complexity of hospitals and that it's free etc I was impressed to find it edible, in fact even slightly tasty!

I had to keep my mouth shut when all the other mums who'd been in were slagging it off...

I spent a lot of time in hosp as a kid though so know what to expect as well.

I guess the old tradaition of taking fruit to people in hospital is still a good one smile

AitchTwoOh Fri 12-Jun-09 20:26:13

see, that's the scandal, the fact that in some hospitals it's fine and in others it's just inedible. i mean, yer standard issue elderly chap loves a bit of institutional food, when you think about it. just not at the hospital i'm talking about. grin

LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 12-Jun-09 20:32:02

The only standard issue elderly chap I know has a soft spot for oysters and fine wines grin

That would be my dad... Actually I tell a lie he went to boarding school and if you give him something like cottage pie with baked beans followed by jam roly poly his eyes light up!

Agree with you aitch - although I think malnutrition rather than out and out starvation is a big problem. Also that the people who are supposed to help people feed themselves if they are not so able sometimes don't...

Personally I also think that some people have high expectations. I had a CS last time and was in hosp, there were aspects of my care that weren't brilliant but nothing to get too worked up about. And the food was hot and pretty edible. That's what I was expecting.

I think a lot of people think it will be more like staying in a hotel - they maybe see a lot of american dramas with hospitals - and expect much more than the NHS can deliver.

I do agree though that the food itself will vary trust to trust.

Didn't Lloyd grossman do a food thing for the NHS a few years back, to try and raise standards? And it all ended in tears or something...

ruddynorah Fri 12-Jun-09 20:32:12

eww on the postnatal ward they'd basically run out of veggie options so i got a dollop of mash and some carrots. it was soo horrid. i think part of the tastelessness is that they have to cover so many dietary requirements that everything is just bland. my mash was like snow.

littleducks Fri 12-Jun-09 20:35:42

i think that everyone who says 'you get what you pay for' is missing the point, it costs moreto keep a patient in hospital for a longer stay as they reovering slower than if they were eating a decent diet

the nutritionally balanced thing is also a red herring, the meal may have passed a nutritional guideline but if its unappetising and so isnt eaten then that doesnt help anybody

oodlesofpoodles Fri 12-Jun-09 20:46:50

I was in recently for 6 days and the food was pretty good. There was always salad and fresh fruit and really nice fruit crumbles. I was starving all the time though and dh brought me an extra meal every day even though I was eating all of the meals provided by the hospital plus loads of fruit cake from the day room.

AitchTwoOh Fri 12-Jun-09 20:46:57

actually yes, sorry, should have said malnutrition, not starvation. my mistake. smile

ProfYaffle Fri 12-Jun-09 20:50:23

ime hospital food is vile. When I was in for both c sections I didn't eat their food at all, got dh to bring me food up from the canteen for staff/visitors - difference in quality was marked hmm

dh has had several ops in the last few years, fortunately one of the side effects has been the loss of his sense of smell. Mercifully that has also affected his appreciation of food and he happily wolfed down everything put infront of him hmm again.

ruddynorah Fri 12-Jun-09 20:53:07

thinking about it i was in over a couple of days with a dislocated jaw last month. i physically couldn't eat a thing for 24 hours. my god the soup i got through a straw once they'd fixed me was the absolute best tasting soup i've ever had grin

OrmIrian Fri 12-Jun-09 20:54:16

Well I have only been in after my babies were born and the food was wonderful! But then again I am always starving post-partum and might well have eaten carpet tiles if nothing else was available. But the food was OK. Bland, a bit stodgy maybe but hot, balanced and plentiful.

Not sure if I'd have felt the same if I'd been ill of course.

AitchTwoOh Fri 12-Jun-09 20:55:39

lol profyaffle, silver linings and all that.
fruit crumbles etc do sound lovely, albeit like eveyrthing else at my hosp they would have reeked eventually of warm pedigree chum.

i must say, hospital toast is magnificent, for some reason.

tatt Fri 12-Jun-09 21:02:21

count your blessings - if you have food allergies you may find none of the food is safe to eat. One person in hospital after a reaction to nut asked for nut free food, asked the nurse to check with the kitchen the sauce was Ok, had a reaction and was then told it was their fault for eating it.

When my nut allergic child was a day case we were advised to take food in as they had to eat before they'd be allowed to leave. Despite knowing about the allergy in advance they couldn't say if they'd have anything suitable for them to eat. My OH was offered a sandwich with butter but when he was lactose intolerant.

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