"Disappointing catering"

About: Royal Blackburn Hospital

As a coeliac, I am often subjected to a limited menu in many restaurants/cafes as they have few or no gluten free options on their menus. This is often because they either cannot guarantee gluten free food, in these days of easy litigation, or do not fully understand the consequences of a coeliac eating gluten. On two occasions recently, whilst visiting an in patient in Blackburn Royal I visited the Grane restaurant where I hoped to buy a meal or a snack. I was very surprised however, to discover that the hospital restaurant had fewer available options than a basic cafe, where you can usually purchase pre-packaged gluten free biscuits. I did not see any available food labelled as Gluten free. There was a sign advising anyone with allergies to speak to the staff for advice but unfortunately when I did so the assistant whilst sympathetic could not help. In fairness I did not see labelling other than price and description on any food which I find amazing for a hospital canteen which should be supporting healthy/accessible eating. I hope that after reading this review that the restaurant won't hide behind the often used excuse that there would only be a limited amount of people who would want gluten free food. This is not acceptable as there are many meals which would appeal to everyone but which can be made gluten-free . The restaurant needs to revise it's menu and attitude as I can't believe that this level of service is acceptable in a hospital.

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Response from Royal Blackburn Hospital

Many thanks for your feedback on your experience of our dining room at Royal Blackburn Hospital, and thank-you for taking the time to do so. I will make sure your comments about the lack of choice for coeliacs and labelling of food on offer are passed onto the catering team for the hospital. I am very sorry to hear that your recent experience with us wasn't what you expected as we always strive to deliver safe, personal & effective care; and we accommodate dietary requirements on our wards to a high degree. I am sure the catering manager will value the feedback you have provided as part of their on-going evaluation of the menus and offer within the restaurants. If you would like to offer any other insights into your experience we would really value this so that we can try to improve things for every patient visiting our hospitals and services. You can either contact me (Wendy Stobbs) on 01254 734471 or email me on wendy.stobbs@elht.nhs.uk Many thanks again Wendy Stobbs, Patient Experience Facilitator

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Response from Wendy Stobbs, Patient Experience Manager, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust We have made a change

Dear Anonymous

Just as an update to the above...I have spoken to the estates manager and she has instructed the catering team to provide a section within the display cabinets that indicate that products are gluten free and identify on the daily menu boards which meals are gluten free. The date this will be effective from is the 29th September,

Many thanks for bringing this to our attention and I hope this will help if you need to visit the hospital at any point in the future

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