Hospitals named and shamed for bad food
A HOSPITAL that came under fire for serving a bridie to a GP recovering from a heart attack has been named as having the worst food in Scotland in an NHS study.
More than half of patients at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride said they were unhappy with the quality of the food served.
Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the Southern General were also named as among the worst - with only 52 per cent - just over half of patients - saying they were happy with what they were given to eat and drink.
And at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary only 62 per cent of patients thought the food and drink were up to scratch.
Hairmyres Hospital, which was given the worst rating in the survey, recently came under fire for offering a menu that included sausages, bridies, beans and cottage pie to patients recovering from heart surgery. Many of the meals at the hospital are cooked in Manchester and then reheated on site.
Dr Grace Campbell, whose husband Robert Mair was offered a bridie and beans hours after surgery, said: "I have real concerns about the food they think is acceptable to serve."
Another Lanarkshire hospital, Monklands in Airdrie, was rated second worst for catering - with only 47 per cent of patients saying they were satisfied with their meals.
An NHS Lanarkshire spokesman said the results were a cause for concern. "We are committed to providing a quality food experience for all of our patients.
"We are therefore rightly concerned that this survey indicates that patients' experience of food was low.
"We need to take on board the outcomes from this recent survey and those we undertake internally and identify further improvement to the food experience of patients."
One of the highest ratings for patient satisfaction was the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, where 89 per cent of patients said they were satisfied with the food.
Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government was committed to improving food in hospitals.
"Every patient has the right to expect decent, nutritious food when they are in hospital and we are committed to providing patients with the best nutritional care possible.
"Earlier this year we published a review of hospital catering and I made clear that I expect all health boards to improve the nutritional quality and standards of food offered.
"Key to this is the rollout of the nutritional database which will allow boards to analyse food and ensure meals are both nutritionally balanced and meet patients' individual needs."
However Mary Scanlon MSP, Scottish Conservative health spokeswoman, said the findings highlighted a major problem.
"I would have thought the NHS would realise that giving patients nutritional food not only aids their recovery but sends out a clear message in terms of their future health.
"They are letting patients down in terms of recovery and in failing to send out a message about their future eating habits.
"It is a good thing that hospitals are now rated for the standards of food they offer in this way and I hope Hairmyres will try to make improvements."
Jean Turner, executive director of the Scotland Patients' Association, said she was very concerned to hear that levels of satisfaction at Hairmyres were so low. She added: "This is dreadful. They are underestimating how important nutritious food is to patients.
"It shouldn't be too difficult to get food procured locally. Hairmyres needs to improve their image and look at how much food they are wasting.
"They need to reinvest in proper kitchens with real cooks so they will have to find the money from somewhere. Anyone who doesn't serve appetising food to ill patients should be ashamed of themselves."
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West