Apologies for the delay to the conclusion to my Southampton Hospital food saga; Ironically another Hospital stay prevented me from posting – but did give me some more material (Stay tuned for the Northwick Park review)

Last time I wrote, I explained how going down to the staff and guest canteen, to pick up my food from the kitchen (and eat my food in a semi dining experience) had drastically improved Dinner time meals.

I can now confirm, until the last two days in hospital, the food on the ward did not improve. What made those last two days different? For the first time I managed to arrange for the Dietician, Ward Hostess and Kitchen staff to be in the same place at the same time; Presented with exactly the same complaints I’d been spouting for nearly 3 weeks within a couple of minutes they had worked out the issue was:

Although the food was cooked fresh, and brought up in one swift move from the kitchen to me. There could be times where it sat waiting in the kitchen to be picked up for 15, 30 even  60 minutes.

As I’m sure you can appreciate they were very quickly able to come up for a solution to this. And from this I got my first decent (If not particularly exciting meal) on the ward:

2013-01-22 12.39.07I’ll be honest, I can’t remember what exactly this is. Lamb I think. But it was Hot, tasted ok and the Mash was buttery. Can’t ask for much more on a hospital ward.

I said to the staff, it was great we had resolved this issue. But that it would be nice we didn’t need to have this fight again (and again and again like the last time, and the time before that) So I seeked an email which confirmed plans to bring all Intestinal Failure Diet meals straight up after being served, with no time sat in the food warmer trolley.

Upon my return, I asked the dietician whether things had remained at their improved rate. However she said standards had quickly slipped after leaving, that said when I asked her for a statement on this she said:

“Your problems with the IFD while an inpatient were resolved before discharge using the catering complaints procedure and I do not believe there were any ongoing issues arising from this. If any issues from catering arise they would be dealt with in the same way.”

So perhaps she was misguided, misinformed or unable to share within the restrictions of her job. Either way its irrelevant. She worked really hard to change the food and improve it whilst I was there, and together we were successful. And if we can win once; We can win again.

I hope you never have to experience it, but if you do end up in hospital;

Make sure your Food is DECENT!