FOOD with “fancy names”, a lack of toast and dinner being served too early were some of the criticisms found during a review of meal times at Worthing Hospital.
Members of the West Sussex Local Involvement Network (LINk) carried out a review of nutrition, hydration and feeding in four wards between May and July.
The results of the review have now been published and the report concludes: “In all four wards visited, meals were served efficiently and speedily and there is high patient satisfaction with choice, temperature and taste.”
The network has made 11 recommendations, including giving some dishes simpler descriptions following criticism of “fancy names” such as broccoli provencal. The review team has queried why there are only two vegetables on the menu and only one can be chosen for a meal – the team said it was told this may be an issue of cost. They also found “unusual” soups, such as yellow pea or cauliflower, were unpopular.
Breakfasts were criticised in the report, which found toast was only available on one ward because of “fire safety regulations”.
And desserts were taken round at the same time as the main meal, often resulting in the dessert being cold or melted before the patient finished their main course.
The report has suggested every patient should have the meal system explained as soon as possible after arrival on wards, including advice on obtaining extra drinks, fruit and food.
The report added: “One ward had a nurse giving dietary advice and this was highly regarded by patients and worth extending to other wards.”
Other recommendations included checking the temperature of food cabinets, making cold drinks available and questioning why some patients were served their evening meal well before 6pm.
The report did praise the availability of wet-wipes and cleaning sprays on all bedside cabinets. It also found 91 per cent of the 35 patients surveyed thought there was enough food choice. A total of 76 per cent were satisfied with the taste of food, 89 per cent were satisfied with the smell and 83 per cent with the temperature.
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