"(Please see comment in 'Any Other comments' above)..."

About: Royal National Hospital For Rheumatic Diseases

What I liked

The Ankylosing Spondylitis 12-day course for patients at the RNHRD in Bath was excellent. Aside from the birth of my son, it was the best thing I've had from the NHS in 58 years. I left the course feeling more mobile, more positive, more in control and better informed about AS.

As a former CSCI/CQC Inspector, I was impressed by the modern, evidence-based practice; the genuine patient focus; the professionalism of all medical and therapeutic staff whom I encountered.

The course promotes self-management of the disease and its effects, as well as a generally healthier lifestyle to include daily exercise, relaxation for stress reduction and good nutrition. I would argue that the course helps to reduce other conditions which drain NHS and Social Care resources (cardio-vascular disease and osteoporosis, for example).

What could be improved

As in many hospitals in Britain, the food provided did not always promote health and sensible weight management. Heavy meals, for example, of meat pie with several types of potato dish followed by traditional puddings and custard were served. And it seemed impossible to get a normal-sized portion of food!

Salads were the old-fashioned English lettuce, cucumber and tomato - why not add grated carrot or red cabbage? Even on a tight budget, more healthy options could be offered.

Anything else?

I only wish I had been referred to the AS patients' self-help course much earlier during the last 30 years of having AS!

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Responses

Response from Royal National Hospital For Rheumatic Diseases

Thank you for taking the time to write about the care you have received and your positive experiences at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases NHS Foundation Trust. We are pleased that you found our staff patient-focused and professional. We are proud of our staff and we will pass on your comments to the AS clinical team.

The Trust is grateful to you for highlighting your views on the food provided by the hospital. We welcome patient comments to help us to continue to improve our menus. We do value your feedback and receive it as an opportunity to learn and improve. Following patient feedback we have introduced a new four-week menu system to increase choice; this includes increased vegetarian options, more gluten-friendly dishes, lighter puddings and an increased variety of salad options.