forum: Campaigns and Community

#1 Mon 25 Jun 12 5:27pm


Member since Mon 25 Jun 12

Hospital food: 'medium risk' of malnutrition

Jamie, you did an amazing job changing school meals for the better in the UK and you're working on other great causes too.  Lots of people here have mentioned hospitals already, but I just want to add to that.

My 88 year old Gran has been in and out of hospital since March this year following heart failure and various falls following that as she has become weak and unsteady on her feet since the first stint in hospital this year.

She desparatly wants to get better and stronger and get home to her beloved bungalow and stay there, but one of the things I'm sure is preventing her is the food she is serverd up in hospital.

Yesterday she didn't eat her Sunday lunch because the meat was too tough and the vegetables too hard - every day there is something that is stopping her from eating what she is given.

She's been in hospital for two weeks so far (this time) and seems to be living on a diet of porriage for breakfast, a few mouthfulls of her lunch and watery looking soup and a bread roll for tea.

Her diet is supplimented with with the various things that friends and family bring in.

I looked at the chart at the end of her bed and it said 'medium risk' under malnutrition!  How bad is that???

I don't understand how hospitals can get away with serving any patient substandard food when this so clearly has an impact on health and wellbeing.  Having good quality food and a balanced diet in hospital may cost more, but it must make savings elsewhere - perhaps people getting better quicker and leaving hospital sooner!

The nurses have admitted to the food they serve patients being pre-prepared, shipped in and reheated - something I find incredibly hard to understand in an establisment so big (I'm talking about Peterborough City Hospital) - surely it should have its own kitchen serving fresh food?

Help please.

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#2 Mon 25 Jun 12 8:41pm


Forum champ
Occupation Walking the Old Ways
From Living in the Wild Woods
Member since Wed 16 Jan 08

Re: Hospital food: 'medium risk' of malnutrition

Oh sweetheart, it's a great big bag of worms.................& I am sorry your gran is in the middle of it.

The pen-pushers (of which there are thousands throughout the health service) are in charge of the money, & they rarely if ever see a patient, which is good for them as that way saying, 'cut food budgets' isn't going to trouble their finer feelings overly much.

There are more unproductive senior admin people taking too many salaries out of the pot for there to be any drastic changes in food (or indeed any other service) standards. They all shriek, 'Budgets' at us when we push for better, & then run away & hide behind each other.

All you can do for Gran is to keep taking in what you can, & making sure it's as nutritious as possible. You might need to do a little research as to exactly what will be the best food for her condition..........Age Concern can be helpful if Gran's dietary needs aren't directed by her medical ones. Is there a dietition at hospital you could talk to? Remember for an elderly lady, the foods you are taking her might not actually be the ones she needs, so it is worth enquiring. 

If you want to let off steam or want some recipes for something to tempt her appetite, please come back & talk to us. We are happy to help if we can.

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#3 Mon 25 Jun 12 10:12pm


Forum champ
Member since Fri 19 Nov 10

Re: Hospital food: 'medium risk' of malnutrition

I remember reading about dr. Schweitzer in Africa and the people who gathered in his hospital to be seen by him, often the whole family with chickens or goat stayed there to nourish the ill relative ..... this happened in the past age and in Africa, it has something geniale and so simple which makes me think

come back and tell us if you changed even a little thing just asking crossed  smile

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#4 Tue 26 Jun 12 9:46pm


Forum champ
Occupation Shop worker/KP/ Commis chef
From UK/Germany
Member since Wed 28 Oct 09

Re: Hospital food: 'medium risk' of malnutrition

I watched Heston in kids hospital, amazing only the staff got a descent 'ish  meal. He proved it could be done though. THe kids enjoyed his meals, the staff got more involved.
I ate at Royal Hospital Road London next to a Royal Hospital, home of the amazing Chelsea Pensioners? A land fit for heroes? I wonder? Young people might ask older generation about this. Politicians hang your heads in shame!

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