Please believe me when I say how sorry I am for returning to the subject of food quite so soon. However, I have a feeling this is going to be a recurring theme since mealtimes in hospital are a bit of a high point. No, seriously! You lie here all day listening to the sounds of wonky trolleys being wheeled up and down the corridor while you stare at the blank screen of a TV that doesn’t work and naturally your thoughts turn to food.
Well, yesterday’s offering plumbed new depths of culinary ineptitude. The macaroni cheese could have doubled as wallpaper paste. You could have slapped a splattering of the stuff on to a pair of white overalls, stuck them on the underside of a plane and then zipped a man into them before taking off for a spin and a couple of loop-the-loops – just like the old Solvite TV ad.
The peas were so very nearly right, though. Good colour, less hard than yesterday but stone cold. And as for the potato… let’s not even go there. However, my opprobrium is reserved for the treacle suet pudding and custard. I don’t know whether the chef used an industrial hardener or simply drove out the moisture with a flamethrower but it was the most inedible lump of carbohydrate ever to be passed off as a dessert. To add insult to injury, the spoon it was served with still had traces of the last user in the form of dried concentric rings of some liquid that appeared etched into it. Yum!
As my friend Jonny rightly points out, someone is making a huge profit out of this scandal. The hospital’s food is produced somewhere in Wales and then packed, allegedly, by prisoners before being shipped out to the hospital to be warmed up at a later date. The caterer happens to have its fingers in penitentiary pies as well as providing food for sick people. Serious money is being made and no one is challenging the company on the appalling quality of its service.
Think I’m exaggerating… think again! A team of researchers and Bournemouth University (yes, I know) discovered that the quality of prison food was better than that served up in NHS hospitals. In reply, some overpaid NHS executive claimed the overwhelming majority of NHS patients were happy with their food. I wonder where he did his survey... the hospital mortuary?
Read more on the report here at BBC News