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Hospital food… everyone has a view!

Authored by Sarah Parker
Posted: Monday, September 5, 2016 - 11:48

After 12 months of asking patients, dietitians, the nursing teams and the patient council, changes are coming to the dining experience at Derriford Hospital.

From Monday 5 September 2016, inpatients will have access to a wider choice of food and drink throughout the day; and the way that meals and snacks are presented will also change. An example of this is the replacement of shrink-wrapped snacks, with fresh scones and cakes cut from the plate in a more personal manner by housekeeping staff.

As part of addressing a higher level of food wastage in the evenings, a lighter bistro-style evening menu will be introduced, consisting of freshly-made soups, jacket potatoes, sandwiches and salads. A main meal will continue to be served at lunchtime and our breakfast range will feature a number of healthier choices.

The menus, which cater for specialist dietary requirements, will see a number of improvements which have been implemented with the advice and guidance of the Trust’s Dietitians:

  • Calorie-dense pureed options for low-appetite patients who might be nutritionally vulnerable.
  • Extended number of choices on the gluten-free menu.
  • An allergen-free range which meets Food Standards Agency requirements.
  • Additional snacks made available during evening drinks round to reduce the risk of hypoglycaemic attack amongst diabetic patients.
  • Development of dementia-friendly finger food options, to give greater independence to dementia patients who may struggle with cutlery.
  • A more visual paediatric menu design has been created, along with more appealing food choices for younger patients.

Improvements to the menu are part of the Trust’s ongoing Making Mealtimes Matter campaign, which promotes the importance of nutrition and hydration in the recovery process. Patients, nurses and the Executive Directors have tested the new food and the consensus opinion has been ‘delicious’.