Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Not as daft as it sounds

An article in today's Daily Mail suggests that hospitals serve Big Macs or Pret à Manger sandwiches to short-term patients. I can already hear the likes of Gillian McKeith holding up garlic and a crucifix at the very suggestion, but hang on a moment... it's a fairly sensible idea. Besides, some hospital food makes the I'm A Celebrity bush tucker trials that so revolted Ms McKeith look like a hearty and welcoming meal.

Almost everyone, whether they're willing to admit it or not, would, if faced with the choice of a wholemeal tofu sandwich or a cheeseburger, probably opt for the fast-food option. Oh, of course they'll pretend to prefer the 'healthy choice' but unless they want to end up looking like Ms McKeith, they'd be better off with something a bit more tasty.

Now, no one is suggesting that you feed pizzas, burgers or baltis to long-term patients, day after day. However, so much food is wasted when fed to short-term patients that it's just a scandalous waste. Either do away with food for short-term patients and bring in an outside caterer from the high street from whom patients can buy their own food, or else serve up something edible. It's no good serving up Second World War slop just to keep Unison members in a job.

When it comes to longer term patients, hospitals really need to move up a gear and start planning menus of freshly cooked nutritious food that's tailored to each individual patient's nutritional needs. Alongside this, the hospitals should be offering vitamin and mineral supplements as well as probiotics for those who really could benefit from their use.

There... NHS food problems solved and money saved.

1 comment:

  1. I was in for four days recently (mind you, I thought a one day/outpatient deal was on the cards for an infected finger) my choice of breakfast was toast and stuff and for the other two meals an M&S sandwich sufficed. Totally adequate. (M&S had a shop in the foyer.)