"Medirest (Inpatient Catering) ..."

About: Royal Derby Hospital

(as the patient),

What could be improved

Medirest (Inpatient Catering) - A Patients Perspective.

Initially, my reaction to the Medirest menu was quite positive, following my surgery I tended to eat soup and yoghurt and found both to be very tasty. However, as my appetite and mental ability improved, one or two cracks started to appear in the very comprehensive 'Steamplicity Menu' and it's Staff.

One morning I asked the Hostess what was available for breakfast and was told, "Cornflakes or toast", I later found out from other patients that I could have had weetabix, rice crispies or porage.

On another occasion, my lunch arrived, it was not what I had ordered, I was offered a fish dish instead but declined it due to the risk of small bones, no other option were available.

One 83 year old patient was given toast but unfortunatelu spilt some water on it. He informed the Hostess who commented "oh dear", removed his plate but didn't offer to bring him any more, so he had no breakfast that day.

This same gentleman was on a number of occasions, brought meals that he hadn't ordered with the inference that he had ordered wrong, this was not true.

Once at lunchtime he was brought vegetable soup and a sausage dinner, he had in fact ordered tomato soup and chicken. He ate the soup, refused the dinner and as an alternative was offered a fish dish which he declined. He was told "not to worry" as he could have the soup and chicken for tea, but he refused as he had wanted it for lunch. When the soup arrived at teatime, once again it was vegetable and not tomato.

The 'jewl in the crown' on the Steamplicity menu was the 'All Day Breakfast'.

I tried to order an 'all day breakfast' for my breakfast only to be told by the Hostess that "it was not available for breakfast as it had to be a special order", it could only be ordered for lunch.

My meal arrived after everyone else had finished their meal. The potatoes were okay, but the sausage was like leather and dry, the omelette had no taste at all and the baked beans had been cremated. It's a pity that Medirest's flag ship meal was so awful. I informed the Hostess who was unconcerned, in fact she seemed more annoyed with me because I was dissatisfied with the meal.

If you did complain to the Hostess, they adopted a stance of "it's not my fault. the Hostess before me took the order, so they got it wrong, and I only did was they had written down".

Medirest did come round to carry out a 'Customer Satisfaction Survey' immediately after giving out complimentary packets of biscuits. Was this a coincidence, I don't think so.


When people are in hospital, they can feel vulnerable for a variety of reasons, no matter what their age.

During my hospital stay, failure by some to listen to an elderly frail patient meant that he sometimes went without meals which he badly needed; he openly admitted that he didn't enjoy eating and said that it was important to him that when he did eat, he was given the correct meal that he had ordered.


1. Patients get the meal they order.

2. Listen to the patient's needs, and give advice on all choices available for breakfast.

3. Review the term 'All Day Breakfast', it gives a false impression of availability.

4. Ensure the patients on each Ward 'bay area' receive their meals at the same time.

5. Less 'back biting' from catering staff blaming the previous shift.

6. Reduce Main Menu to free space to show the Breakfast selection.

Story from NHS Choices

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