Hospital Food


Regular Member
You may have noticed from some of my recent contributions that my beloved has been poorly. My observations about the NHS are generally positive - they saved his life so fundamentally A1 there but the nutrition leaves a lot to be desired.

When he was allowed to eat he was offered soup - nice, full of veg but offered processed brown bread - hmmmm.

Sandwiches were prepacked and of questionable freshness.

Breakfast was much better, cereal, toast and spreads.
Fruit was rarely offered or available. Yoghurts etc - ok.

My husband has been ordered to gain 20lbs - he is very slim naturally but with his illness he has lost a lot of weight and is borderline anorexic. ( We are a fab looking couple skinny boy and fat cow - oh how we laugh and how must everyone who sees us!!!) Can you explain then why, because he was having his dressing changed he wasn't offered any lunch, nor was any put up for him? I know they can't keep food for too long but half an hour surely....
I had to go to the friends coffee shop and buy him a meal!

My overall impression of hospital 'hotel services' is that it isn't good. It is not a reflection of the nursing staff but the catering process. Although, it did strike me as odd that the staff who made a HUGE issue about his weight didn't check that he'd eaten anything or make any recommendations about his diet only to 'eat more'.

Am I unreasonable or has anyone else noticed this?
Hiya, having lived in ireland up til 2 years ago, I have never had to experience a NHS hospital, and I hope I never have to!! However, I dont think its unreasonable to expect that if they are telling him to gain weight that your husband should be fed! Or that they arent prescribing a special diet for him to gain weight, especially if he is naturally skinny, he obviously has a fab metabolism so it wont be easy to gain weight anyway!
Anyway, I probably havent been much help, but I hope he gets better least when he is home you can oversee his meals etc
Hi Georgiasmum

Hope you OH is doing well now. My mum was in Bath hospital for 4 months at the beginning of last year. Maybe he was too? She also was very greatful for of the care and expertise she was given that has saved her life. Being in there for so long she did tire of the food although in general was happy. She also observed a lot of frail elderly people who missed meals because they didn't want them (needed gentle encouraging), were having treatment during the mealtime, or couldn't feed themselves very well. Some of these died during there hospital stay and my mum felt so sad that they didn't have just a little bit more personal attention during there last days.

She did though spent a week or so in Bristol for an op and the food was 90% worse there so back in Bath she was so grateful. It does seem strange if they don't give food supplements to those who need beefing up or find it difficult to eat for some reason or other. I would have thought that would be a good solution.

The food available in the friends coffee shop aren't exactly health foods either are they.

Another observation my mum made though whilst in hospital was how many visitors brought in donuts and fast foods to the heart patients.

Have you made a suggestion to the hospital and the friends of the hospital about availability of healthier foods?

Dizzy x
You are so right! The quality of food available is not the best in the coffee shop and I too did notice that visitors bought some yummy but not healthy snacks in for their loved ones! The nurse i got most friendly with was rather embarrassed by the state of it. I just think it is ironic that the nhs is talking about refusing.restricting treatment for overweight/obese patients and yet what is on offer isn't any help to the situation!
Hiya, have they not referred him to a dietician? If he's having trouble getting enough calories in (then I hate him - JOKE) then there are loads of supplements that he can be prescribed to help build him up. And if he's still in hospital, then they should be able to see him in a matter of days. It's worth asking his doctors or the nurse looking after him, because nutrition often gets overlooked and is vital to a good recovery.
When I lived up North, DD #2 had to have half her thyroid removed. I was truly shocked at the poor quality of the food given to the patients: on one occasion her evening meal consisted of a cheap (99p for 10) pizza on a disposable plate and a max-pax cup of coffee.

A year later, she had to have an operation on her knee and as all the NHS beds were full, she was sent next door to the private hospital (apparently the NHS 'rented' beds from the occasionally). OMG the difference!! She had home-made vegetable soup followed by scampi then fresh fruit salad for dessert and tea in a proper cup with choice of sugars / sweeteners - all served on a tray complete with doily and napkin.

Made the NHS hospital next door look positively third world!

It's one thing to make do with grotty food lacking in nutrition when you're in for a day or so but what about long term patients? I know some are supplemented by stuff their families bring in but as for those who have no families, they must be completely malnourished by the time they get out! If anyone needs top-notch nutrition, it's people recovering from illness.
Hey GM - I've only just seen that your OH has been poorly and wanted to send you massive cyber (((((HUGS)))))!

I do hope he makes a speedy recovery and that life settles down for you both.

Lots of love