"Amazing nursing care but terrible food"

About: East Surrey Hospital / General surgery

(as a relative),

My wife was admitted to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill 5 weeks ago. She was suffering from a perforated bowel.

It took 13 hours from her admission to being operated on and her problem seemed to be worsening during that time. After this, she was in intensive care for 1 week and was then transferred to the Copthorne Ward.

Her nursing care throughout was absolutely wonderful and first class. The staff were lovely.

The one major problem was the food which was disgusting, not fit for purpose and often cold. I joined other patient families by bringing my own food instead.

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Responses

Response from Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Nectar532

Thank you for comments about East Surrey Hospital. I am very concerned to read your unhappiness with the food on Copthorne Ward, particularly as this is one of our new wards with new hot and cold food serving trolleys. I will be going down to Copthorne at lunchtime today to review what is being served today and will take appropriate action as necessary. I will post an update later.

In the meantime if you would like to discuss your comments with me please could you call me on 01737 231988 or e-mail ian.mackenzie@sash.nhs.uk

Regards

Ian

Ian Mackenzie

Director of Information and Facilities

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Response from Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Further to my previous posting I have now been down to Copthorne Ward and watched and tasted the lunch serving.

I am sorry to say that there were issues that I hadn’t expected, mainly due to the temperature that the food was served at. I need to get to the bottom of what the problem is as we have specifically purchased trollies that should address this issue. This will take a few days to resolve and I will post a further update as soon as I can.

What I was impressed by was how efficiently the lunch was served and how well the housekeeper and nurses worked together to ensure all the meals were served as quickly as possible.

Regards

Ian Mackenzie

Director of Information and Facilities

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

01737 231988

Response from Ian Mackenzie, Director of Information and Facilities, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust We have made a change

picture of Ian Mackenzie

Further to my visit to Copthorne ward on tuesday and two further visits since then by our catering team we have identified that there was a training issue with the new hot/cold serving trolleys. Basically the temperature was not being boosted quickly enough when the trolley arrived on the ward because too low a setting was being chosen. We have now ensured that the correct procedure is in place and will continue to monitor it.

I appreciate that the temperature may not have been the only contributor to the dissatisfaction you felt with the food, but I hope that you see that we are very keen to make changes to try and provide the best possible patient experience.

Another change we will be introducing is ensuring that all our housekeepers are given the opportunity to taste all the food we serve so that they can help ensure its quality.

If you would like to contact me about this please e-mail me at ian.mackenzie@sash.nhs.uk or telephone 01737 231988

Kind regards

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Response from Ian Mackenzie, Director of Information and Facilities, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Ian Mackenzie

A quick update:

From Monday 1st October all our housekeepers will receive a meal from each day's menu so that they can taste all items that we serve. This will help them understand the food that they are serving much better.

This will only take a week as we currently have a one-week menu cycle. We have asked each housekeeper to note what they think of the food they have tasted and we will then bring them all together so that they can discuss what was good and what wasn't. From this we will make changes based on their input. Additionally they will also be able to better explain the food to the patients so that they have a better idea of what they would like.

Having met with almost all of the housekeepers they are really pleased to get this opportunity and are keen to help make improvements.

Kind regards

Ian

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Response from Ian Mackenzie, Director of Information and Facilities, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

picture of Ian Mackenzie

Further to my previous responses I met this week with most of our housekeeping staff (now that they have the opportunity to taste all the food) and we discussed their views on the food and its serving on their wards. As a result of this we will be making some changes to how we cook some items - such as vegetables which were felt to be too hard - and reviewing some dishes completely. We are also planning to move to a less repetitive menu but this will require an additional chef which we will hopefully be able to do soon.

An important part of our meeting was their being able to see how important what they do is to patient experience and that small things can make a big difference - I was particularly pleased that they all felt proud of the role they play in providing excellent care for our patients.

Regards

Ian

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