"Nursing Care (1) and Choices on Menu(2)"

About: East Surrey Hospital

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(1) I came out of ESH last Friday following a sudden & unexpected stay, having been taken in by ambulance 6 days earlier with pneumonia. The Amb. crew were great, calming and I felt I was in good hands. I can't praise all the inpatient treatment I received more highly. I was promptly seen in A+E with various blood tests and xrays etc before being admitted to SAU where I was pumped and drip fed with all sorts of drugs and given a CT scan for a possible blood clot. The staff all worked extremely hard during their long shifts. There were only 7 of us on the ward but most people were feeling so unwell demands on the nurses were non-stop. It was several days before all the drugs "kicked in" and I felt any improvement, but from then it was onward and upward, albeit slowly. Well done and thank you to everyone I saw in the hospital. (2) The Catering Not quite so glowing I'm afraid! I began to feel a bit "peckish" for something light, appetising, fresh to the mouth and non-sick making, but nothing much on the menu inspired me one little bit. The daily menus appeared to be "too samey"! There was no choice of fruit available (although I gathered later you could request an alternative) There appeared to be a lot of spicy foods on offer but who wants spicy foods when they've not eaten for 5 days and feel nauseous. I wanted something fresh and tasty to pick at. In fact the choice on the menus was not nearly as extensive as it first looked. There was usually the sandwich option which is basically 1 or 2 rounds of a choice of 2 fillings. I tried the Gammon Ham on w/meal bread, but perhaps a bit of lettuce would have made it a bit more palatable. The soups were good, except when I tried the Potato and Leek it was so spicy it made be feel sick. The others I tried were tasty and I could have as much or as little as I felt like. I ordered Lasagne one day for lunch - I think the alternative hot meal was meat and onion pasty?? which I didn't fancy. but my big mistake was to order ratatouille with jacket potato for supper. Both were exactly the same meal as the lasagne was ratatouille as well. Very poor menu planning. It was always orange juice on the breakfast menu !!! And if you asked the nurses they were only too happy to toast the bread! When recovering one feels like something fresh and clean to eat. The desserts always seemed to offer strawberry ice cream (sickly).How about Vanilla? I know you cater for all types of illnesses and lengths of stay, & pts. have different opinions and needs regarding food. But as a pt. myself I am trying to point out how I saw the menu. I wanted to start re-building my appetite but there was little there that attracted me to want to try it apart from the Apricots and jelly! Sorry Catering Manager!

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Responses

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

Dear Anonymous,

Firstly I'm very pleased that you found much of your stay and the care you received to be so good, but as the Director responsible for food I'm sorry that you found the menu to be so uninspiring.

I will ask our catering manager to respond to your specific comments but we take all our patients' views very seriously and by listening to people such as yourself we will hopefully be able to improve the experience that all our patients have.

Regards

Ian

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Response from East Surrey Hospital

We're very pleased that you found much of your stay and the care you received at East Surrey Hospital to be so good, but we're sorry that you found the menu to be so uninspiring. We take all our patients' views very seriously and by listening to people such as yourself we will hopefully be able to improve the experience that all our patients have.

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