Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Nothing fishy about this

It may not look much different from the fish and chips offered on the regular hospital menu, but this Chef's Special uses fresher fish and higher quality ingredients. The difference is amazing. Good quality food cooked on site really is the answer.

The Chef's Special breadcrumbed fish is crunchy not soggy. The fish has a firm flesh rather that the texture of a wet carpet that the regular menu offers.

These small polystyrene tubs of ice cream are commonplace across the NHS. They lack any useful nutritional value. There must be better desserts that could replace these ice creams such as fresh probiotic yogurt or frozen yogurts.


  1. Even the peas look nicer than usual.

  2. Looks like tapioca pudding not ice cream.
    A little lumpy for ice cream.

  3. i dont think i like this new menu , theres nothing to complain about really , when even the peas look tasty what to kabitz about?


  4. I'm confused: you appear to get two dinners a day rather than a lunch and a dinner: is this right? Last time I was in hospital, we had a lunch as in a sandwich/salad of some description and then a dinner as in cottage pie/fish and chips. Breakfast was cereal and/or toast (warm but not crisp) with real butter:)

  5. Whilst the ice-cream has no nutritional value, it might be worth noting that tasty ice-cream is a "treat" and therefore morale-boosting. It mightn't improve one's nutrition, but it could help improve one's mental health. :)

  6. All hospitals are different. There is a sandwich option available each day but it's diabolical. I'd rather order a small portion of a second meal and eat a bit of it than I would even bite into one of their sandwiches. Remember too, those plates are actually quite small so the portions aren't as large as they seem.

  7. I don't know, TM - these yummy-looking meals are taking all the fun out of things... I mean, I'm happy for you and your digestive system, but it was a hoot comparing your previous meals to toxic waste and animal droppings...

  8. Rhonda: I'm trying to show the difference between the two tiers of NHS food. I think we've viewed just about every piece of slop available, now I'm investigating the Chef's Specials. The purpose is to prove that NHS caterers can produce good food given a decent budget and a kitchen to cook it in. I'm sure you'll be seeing some horrific examples to criticise.

  9. Ian: I've only shown you two day's worth of good food. I think you want me to go back to the slop, don't you? What do other blog readers think about this. You tell me what you want. Is it worth running a poll?

  10. Maxxxie: you're right. Tasty ice cream is a treat and really can boost the patient's morale. However, this is not tasty ice cream!

  11. How comes you are getting the good food now, do you have to pay for it?

  12. I want you to keep having nice food. It's good seeing what they CAN do and you need to build your strength up

  13. I do not think you should volunteer for slop just for slop oglers' sake! I'd rather see genuine food delivered to all patients than to none, I think the slop should recede into foggy memories better sooner than later.

  14. I'm really pleased to see that some of you are seeing the bigger picture. I never wanted this blog to be about food voyeurism. The food bingo was a great way of getting publicity for what is a life or death subject.

    I've never really been ill or stayed in hospital until this year and it's opened my eyes. I have certain skills as a journalist and I'd really like to use those skills to make some changes. I'd like patients to enjoy their food and recover more quickly. I'd like the NHS catering staff to enjoy their work and get job satisfaction and pride from the very important work that they do.

    All too often politicians talk about change and then they set up a committee and in no time at all, civil servants bury the initiative and it all gets mothballed. I'm not a politician (although I nearly became one once) but I do feel passionately about things and about making a difference. That's what I really wanted to do with this blog while keeping it entertaining and informative.

    I just hope that's what the majority of you, the readers, want too.

  15. Hi TM! First time poster..just figured out this blogging thing!
    Your posts have made me laugh so hard at work I've had to tell people what I'm looking at!
    Been following your menu for a while now, you must be getting out soon, huh?
    Oh, is it hard to eat ice-cream out of a flimsy container like that? And where is the custard??

  16. Chook... not only is it hard but they give you a massive dessert spoon to eat it with instead of a teaspoon. It doesn't matter too much as by the time you get the ice cream it's ready for drinking. I chose ice cream as I thought I'd given you enough custard this week. But don't you worry, I'll get custard back on the blog tomorrow. Anything else you'd like me to choose? I reserve the right to refuse Crofter's Hotpot. No one should have to eat Crofter's Hotpot... not even Osama Bin Laden or Beelzebub himself.

  17. But surely Beelzebub was the one responsible for NHS Crofter's Hotpot in the first place??

    It's good that you're finally getting something edible and nutricious - don't worry, most of us were surely more worried about your health and that of the many thousands who enter NHS "care" every year (although we were distracted and delighted by your irreverent take on the revolting mess you were expected to swallow) than we were about being amused by what you wrote.

    I for one hope you recover and escape damn soon, and carry on the crusade; it needs doing!

  18. Can you choose Steak & Eggs with trifle for dessert?? Or maybe a vege lasagne??
    I think it's hilarious what you're doing..not sure how they'd handle it here if someone did the same, would be interesting though!
    Do they give you poached eggs for brekky? I'm making some now, super delicious!!

  19. Hydrated peas! Is this rehab towards the day when you re-enter the world of real food?

  20. Hey I had a hip op and was stuck in bed at home for one month, then moving about on crutches for another and let me tell you BE GRATEFUL! That food looks GREAT! I had to rely on my hubby's pitiful cooking attempts to recover and mainly survived on Heinz chicken soup and milk roll bread, hmmm daily.. least you got variety!! ;)

  21. TM you said

    "All too often politicians talk about change and then they set up a committee and in no time at all, civil servants bury the initiative and it all gets mothballed."

    I thought Sir Humphrey had retired ... don't tell me they breed!!!

  22. will you stop bloody winging, and be glad you're being fed, your page is very quickly runnung out of steam.

  23. Hi Fred,

    It's actually spelt 'whineging'. At the moment I've got a buggered mobile phone connection, I can't sleep and I'm in a huge amount of pain so I'd be ever so grateful if you would just push off and read someone else's blog instead of pissing me off with your illiterate rants.

    Thanks awfully!

    Traction Man

  24. No matter what sort of food you are getting now TM you had to endure too many months of slop before you reached this stage. Keep up the good fight for nutritious food for all NHS patients regardless. If you had been given the nutritious food in the first place you would probably not still be in hospital but enjoying recuperation at home with Mrs TM by now.

    Hospital "grey suits" really piss me off with their inability to see the bigger picture. All they do is look at today's spreadsheet. If it's overspent in one area (eg food)then let's cut that area, sod what it costs in another area (eg extended bed days). Mind you it doesn't help that each separate item - eg food, bed costs etc - has a different budget, therefore a different spreadsheet, and what you overspend on food you cannot take from the savings on bed costs.

    At least my recent knee surgery was day case and I can recuperate at home, knowing I am getting decently fed and watered.


  25. I'm very suspicious. As the ice cream doesn't come with custard, how can you be sure it isn't really tartar sauce to go with the fish?

  26. Ignore Fred, eat the best food you can and please accept a virtual hug from me. It's such a vicarious pleasure seeing you actually getting enjoyment out of the meals for a change. I've seen enough pictures of the watery green custard you've been faced with to last me a lifetime, so I dread to think what you might feel about having to carry on eating the stuff. As for Crofter's Pie, words fail me.

  27. Ignore Fred and his whingeing, he must have nothing better to do. I enjoy your blog and what you are trying to achieve.
    I hope you are having a better day today pain-wise.

  28. I am just grateful you have the chance to get some proper food!
    It is a disgrace that there is a 2 teir system in the hospital with some patients being given inedible slop and others being offered and allowed to eat real food.
    This is not your fault TM and no one should blame you for eating the good stuff. This is just how the NHS works!

    Sorry to hear you are in so much pain. I do hope this is not a sign of further infection leading too even longer incarceration in that room!

    Keep eating off the 'special' menu as long as it is offered to you. You have a responsibility to your health over and above the desires of us to moan about the state of your food!

    Enjoy today, if you can!

  29. Glad to see you getting good food at last, TM - your posts seem perkier already - must be the rush of nutrients to the brain. Carry on choosing the good grub so you can get well and get out of there and back to civilisation. Once you're out, are there ways we can help you with your plans to improve the grub for all NHS patients?

  30. TM I don't see this a whineging, I see it as you trying to highlight a very important issue.
    I'm just glad someone is raising the profile of this issue and also bring a bit of humour to something that in this age shouldn't be an issue

    Fred - go an do 1!! If you've spent anytime in hospital then you should be aware there is a clear link between good nutrition and healing times.
    What TM is getting is not good nutrition?
    As for being grateful - TM has paid his taxes and national insurance and the thanks he gets a best resembles dog food and at worse is not printable on this page!!

    Hope the pains not too bad today TM
    big cyber hugs and keep up the good work x

  31. The fish and chips does look good! You're making me hungry - your blog has often had the opposite effect!

    I'm really glad that you are highlighting the issue of poor nutrition in hospital. I remember some years ago, when a friend was in hospital having very nasty surgery, they got him to participate in a research project which gave him a vitamin enriched drink to see if the vitamins helped him recover. I read the ingredients - it was full of sugar, colouring and sweeteners that are banned in some other countries. As well as the rubbish food, he seemed to be given stuff that I wouldn't go near because of it's so unhealthy. Cutting costs on the food is a false economy. The NHS might spend less on drugs and time in hospital if they looked after people's nutrition better.

    I enjoy the humour and light touch in your blog but I follow it because of the issues you are highlighting.

    Wishing you less pain and more good food.