So we’re nearly at the end of my 3 week stay in hosptial. And its fair to say the food has drastically improved – But only when I go to the Kitchen to pick it up myself. And its not been without problems.
At one point I was served a Spaghetti Bolognaise that taste just fine, but the Spaghetti was in a slab. So I went back to the kitchen and asked the chef if he could do me some more. He more than obliged infact, he invited me into the kitchen to discuss my dietry needs. I even taught him the trick of rinsing pasta and rice after cooking to remove the bad sticky starch – A Revelation to him (Which I thought was a given on the back of all of all Pasta & Rice backs, but apperently not).
Interestingly the ‘diet’ kitchen wasnt massively large but catered for 100 patients. So its clear the diet chef was a busy bee, but the fact he had time to re-make food when it wasn’t good enough shows there is no reason to rush.
But Lunch time still hasn’t improved. Literally On the ward the food is awful, when I pick it up from the kitchen and come face to face with the chef the food is more than average at times enjoyable would you believe it. The choice from the staff canteen which changes everyday is refreshing too.
Before I “leave” I’ll let you know what arrangements I get put in place so other patients can ‘potentially’ benefit and explore how easy it is to cook a decent meal with less equipment than the industrial ‘diet’ kitchen. Keep an eye on www.feedmesomethingdecent.co.uk! And if you have an experience: Submit it!
In and out of Hospital for nearly 3 years and had some pretty serious surgery over the time. Born with a 1 in a million anomaly that allowed my bowel to twist leading to much of it being taken away and a few days being lost to operations and general anesthetics.
With 7 major operations, somewhere under 30 minor ops, and enough radiation from scans to cook a ready meal (or two) under my belt before the age of 21, its been a bit rough. The worst bit? Not eating for a year and a half! I relied on intravenous[foot]Intravenous therapy or IV therapy is the infusion of liquid substances directly into a vein. The word intravenous simply means “within a vein“. – Wikipedia[/foot] parenteral nutrition [foot] Parenteral nutrition (PN) is feeding a person intravenously, bypassing the usual process of eating and digestion. The person receives nutritional formulae that contain nutrients such as glucose, amino acids, lipids and added vitamins and dietary minerals. It is called total parenteral nutrition (TPN) or total nutrient admixture (TNA) when no significant nutrition is obtained by other routes – Wikipedia [/foot] for the best part of a year and a half and was not able to absorb food or drink. During that time the only way to get in touch with food, was to cook: I did this for my family every meal time, that I had the energy to do so, so that when I could eat again I could eat well.
As I’m sure you’re already aware, Hospital food is more Michelin wheels than stars in style, and that’s Michelin wheels that have a massive puncture. Now its not all bad – the first meal I had, Chicken with white rice and white sauce tasted just fine. But, anything is going to taste good after nothing for a year and a half. The problems I’ll refer to in this blog centre largely around my most recent hospital stay at Southampton General University Hospital – A hospital I was sent to (away from my home town) for its specialist Nutrition team and capabilities. And let us be clear, the Doctors and my team looking after me have been Fab! Its the food I have the BEEF with – If you’ll pardon the pun.
My most recent stay I was on the Intestinal Failure Diet, created especially for people like me, whose intestines have failed. And for the record, not just a little bit, you could say #EpicFails to coin a twitter term. Hopefully this blog will encourage the ongoing, but largely under the radar, discourse on how poor hospital food is to come into the LIME light. If you have experiences similar or at the completely the other end of the spectrum, why not share them? – Submit pictures and articles of your experiences anytime below. We’re not just looking for food at Southampton either, anywhere in the NHS is appropriate – Southampton is not the only place with problems with their meals.
Submit your experiences to be published on the blog: