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Letter to the editor | Food at St Richards Hospital

Dear Editor


I have just read your article on the food at St Richards Hospital, where the Health Secretary and food expert Prue Leith praised the high quality of food served. I must admit I am amazed and shocked.


When I unfortunately had a 13-day stay in the hospital at the beginning of the year the food could only be described as awful, if it was in fact on the menu. It was no surprise to see other patient visitors routinely bringing edible food into the ward.


The menu is divided in to a spoon-fed item or knife and fork meal. The spoon fed dishes were a plate of slop over the plate, something that shouldn’t be fed to an animal.


It is implied that pre-packed contaminated sandwiches previously bought in were now prepared in-house. The sandwiches I had were all pre-packed and bought in. The menu, which I was allowed to see on day four of my stay, always had a long list of not available meals. On one occasion, I opted for a cheese omelette – “not available”, I then chose a ham omelette – “not available”. But I could have a cheese and ham omelette. Stupidly, I thought the omelette would be prepared in the hospital kitchen. Oh no, this was a bought in product that was a burnt crispy solid block.


I could go on about how bad the food was but would just like to say please do not use this hospital’s catering as an example to roll out to the rest of the UK. As Marianne Griffiths states: “Food is so important to our patients for many reasons. It’s about nutrition and variety and joy that you need to give through food, particularly when people aren’t well.”


I can truly say I was not at all well and the stuff put in front of me certainly did not help me to improve.


I always thought Prue Leith had an affinity with food. Clearly, I was wrong.


Yours faithfully
Michael Clay

Posted in Letters.