Posted by Disheartened (as ),
My wife has been in hospital since 2013 with a degenerative brain disorder (undiagnosed) which has left her unable to communicate with us in any meaningful way. One of the many side-effects of her condition is dysphagia, which caused the hospital to put her on a texture B dysphagia diet. Earlier this year she was transferred to a hospital closer to us. I was informed by a nurse, 6 weeks in to her stay at the new hospital, that my wife had been given the same meal (lunch and dinner) for 6 weeks. It was a kind of chicken gruel. When I asked the ward nurses why they had not acted on this I was told to contact the dietician, which I duly did. The Dietician was appalled and apologised, but hinted that this one meal could be the only texture B meal available at the hospital. Speech Therapy were called in to do a swallow test and it was decided that my wife could move up to a texture C diet. I did find this odd, particularly following the conversation with the dietician, and the fact that the first hospital had my wife on texture B for some 10 months.
My wife has been on a texture C diet since early spring this year. There is a set menu for this diet, which consists of 7 meals for lunch and the identical 7 meals for supper. The same 7 meals have appeared on the menu now for some 6 months. I am occasionally given these menus to fill out for my wife as she is unable to do so. I always put a line through all the meals for lunchtime as they are far too large for that time of the day (I write underneath, “Soup, if possible”). I am not at the lunches, but I am lead to believe that the large meals come up more often than not, and very occasionally my wife gets soup or a yogurt. Of the 7 meals, I routinely score out two which my wife has found particularly distasteful - this leaves 5 choices, which I rotate to try and make it more pleasing.
Two things to mention: the menus I fill out are routinely ignored; the last three nights have all seen the SAME meal arrive. Secondly, is it acceptable in the 21st century to be limited to a choice of the same 5 meals EVERY day for nigh on 6 months?
And, why is it not the case that when concerns are raised with nursing staff that they do not simply take up your case? I get sympathetic nods and I am given phone numbers, or a complaints form. These are my immediate professional contacts, and they should know the system better than a lay person like me. They should sort the matter out. The dietician recently informed me that she would look into the matter, and I should contact catering. I work full-time in extremely stressful circumstances, why is the onus on me?