"Great staff all around - unbelievably bad food"

About: St Mary's Hospital (London)

What I liked

I came in for severe stomach pains and were taken seriously from the start. All the staff, from sign in staff to surgeon (I had a laparoscopy and appendix removed) were brilliant, helpful and kept me informed what was going on. I felt I was in really good hands!

What could be improved

There's only one complaint, but it's a big one. When is the NHS (and this applies to other NHS hospitals I've been to too) going to realise that recovery will be much quicker and treatment will cost them less in the end if they serve healthy nutritious food that actually speeds up recovery instead of food completely devoid of any nutrition whatsoever. Post-op I had to show that I could eat something before I got discharged, I asked for something light, and if it was going to be sandwich make it in brown bread. What turned up was a massive soggy white piece of bread with one slice of processed cheese, shortbread (pure butter, white flour and sugar) and a very acidic orange juice. I couldn't eat it. Massive chunk of white bread after abdominal surgery...? So instead I asked for soup, tinned cheap tomato soup, which is basically canned tomatoes and sugar.

Luckily I can go home today and I was nil by mouth for the two days leading up to operations but I was looking at what the people on my ward were fed and felt so sorry for them. Sloppy goo. Nothing fresh. White bread all around. Nutritious food is an integral part in healing.

I had to stay three weeks at St Thomas's a couple of years ago and it was dreadful there too. My partner had to come in with food brought from outside as there was no way I would eat that as I believd it would have made more ill. I tried it on the first day and was so sad that this is what our hospitals are offering us. These are places for healing!

When are we going to see a reform if NHS food. It will save a lot if money in the long run.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››