Thursday, 10 January 2013

Dear Jamie...

...you've trained the young unemployed; you've done your thing in schools; you've opened restaurants and written books. Now, would you please turn your attention to hospitals?

Hospital food is disgusting. Every hospital I've ever been connected with serves horrible food. I know they have a tight budget, but (for example) do they really have to serve soup at every meal? How many people have soup every day before their main meal? It's not necessary. Plus, have you ever tried to consume soup in bed? If you're flat on your back (as I was, for five weeks) the soup ends up in your ears. Trust me. I know. If you're old or frail or just ill, conveying soup from bowl to mouth without incident is a hazardous undertaking. Omit the soup.

Then, meals could at least be made to look atractive. If you don't know what you requested, the odds are you won't be able to identify it when it arrives. One patient of mine (admittedly, years ago, but things haven't changed much) said, when presented with his meal: "I've often trodden in it, but no-one's ever expected me to eat it." Nuff said.

I could go on. And on. But I won't, because you get the picture, and  I know you can do what hospital caterers have long failed to; feed people edible food on a budget.

Okay?

23 comments:

  1. It's one of the biggest ironies, isn't it, that recovering people get to eat stuff that may well harm them ... I don't know how they manage to transform real food into goo and gunge, but they do.

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    1. I sometimes think it's just as well it often gets left out of reach...

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  2. I've not spent a lot of time in hospital, but long enough to experience grim food. I asked for a piece of fresh fruit instead of the stodge I was offered. They didn't have any.

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    1. When I asked for fruit I was often given kiwi fruit. A rather odd choice, I thought (but then I'm not a fan, apart from its use as something pretty in a fruit salad).

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    2. I like kiwi fruit. Not the easiest thing to eat in bed though.

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  3. Something needs to be done about it, Frances that's for sure. I bet it costs a fortune to serve people that slop as well x

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    1. I think the soup is probably dirt cheap, Teresa, but it has to be made,served, washed up etc etc. It really is exactly like dishwater!

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  4. I often thought this too, when my Dad was in hospital, Come on Jamie do your thing!

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    1. I'm surprised he hasn't already. It's so obvious!

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  5. You've got that right, and it's probably the same in every country around the world.

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  6. It wasn't too bad when I last was in hospital in September 2010 for a week. Breakfast was as buffet in a dining room like at a hotel, and the other meals were brought to everyone's bed. And no, it wasn't some fancy private clinic (I could not afford that).

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    1. Ah, but that is Germany, Meike. Just don't be ill over here! (Well, not if you don't want to starve.)

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  7. I do hope he reads this, Frances! And he should use you as a consultant for common sense.

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    1. Not sure Jamie's a follower, Rosemary!

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  8. I can vouch for everything you have said as my husband has spent some time recently in hospital. Most of it is disgusting. There must be a solution somewhere.

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    1. We probably don't complain enough, Maggie!

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  9. You've touched upon a nasty subject. Why do hospitals serve margarine instead of butter? Why do they give you powdered fake creamer instead of half and half? When the most important thing a sick person needs is wholesome good-tasting food, why does a hospital fail so miserably at what should be a simple task?

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  10. Perhaps I have abnormal taste buds but I spent a couple of weeks in hospital several years ago and I thought the food was absolutely fine.

    Mind you, I'd hardly eaten anything at all for some months prior to that so maybe anything would have tasted wonderful.

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