"The care provide my staff was very good..."

About: University Hospital Of North Durham

What I liked

Staff on ward 15 were attentive and supportive. They explained my treatment and after care well. They did her very best to arrange food and explain my requirement to other staff

What could be improved

The food. I'm Coeliac and explained this during my pre op assesment but the ward was not informed. When I returned from surgery the only food option available that evening was omlette, this would have been fine except the domestic put potato croquettes on the plate. I told the staff nurse I couldn't eat it now, the domestic said 'to just leave what wasn't suitable' Staff did not understand about cross contamination of food or what coeliac disease is. My surgeon heard about this and as she is also coeliac offered a ready meal which she had with her, but by this time the catering staff had finished and nurses are not allowed to heat food for patients. When my family came to visist they were asked to go to the local Sainsburys to buy bread so that I could have toast. My nurse was very helpful and tried everything to get me food but was told gluten free meals have to be ordered 48 hrs in advance, I was scheduled for a two day stay! The next day food arrived which I was unsure it was gluten free, I questioned this with the nurse and she brought me the lid which listed the ingredients, I couldn't be sure if it was gluten free because there were two 'stabilisers' listed but didn't state what these were. There is a colour coded key on the lids but neither the domestic staff or the nurses knew what this meant. There was no 'Gluten Free' mentioned anywhere. I ordered my own food for my last day but when lunch arrived I didn't get what I ordered, again I questioned this as the meal I was given had a sauce. The member of domestic staff said that only one gluten free meal had been sent so it had to be mine. Then the lady in the next bed, who was unable to order her own meals was served the meal I had ordered. I didn't feel confident eating any of the meals and didn't think my dietary requirements were taken seriously.

Anything else?

Both Nurses and Food Service staff need training on the dietary needs of patients and special requirements such as this should be reported to the ward prior to admission. I was very confused after my surgery and found it difficult to keep explaining to different staff what my requiremenst were.

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Response from University Hospital Of North Durham

Thank you for providing feedback from your visit to University Hospital of North Durham in 2011. Unfortunately, at the time you shared your feedback, we were unable to respond. If you would like to discuss your previous comments please contact us. The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients. Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices. Patient Experience Team County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Tel: 0800 7835774