Our patient food service is based on a cook freeze delivered meal service. The majority of the patient food is sourced from Apetito, a company based in Wiltshire and focussed on providing high quality, nutritious and appetising food to the healthcare sector. Many of the other hospitals in the South West also operate a cook freeze delivered meals service and also purchase from Apetito. All Apetito dishes are supported by nutritional information so we can be sure the dishes deliver the required nutritional content for patients in hospital.
Our patient menu was compiled by a group of staff comprising catering professionals, dieticians and nursing staff with help from patient representatives. All the dishes that appear on our seven-day menu have been extensively trailed and sampled by the group to ensure acceptability. The trust dieticians check the nutritional content of all the dishes before they are selected for the menu. We have tried to keep the menu simple in order for patients to be able to recognise dishes and in order to appeal to people who may be feeling unwell.
The menu provides for a continental breakfast, 2 course, hot and cold lunch choices and 3 course, hot and cold choices at evening meal time. The lunch and evening meal menu will offer dishes including vegetarian options that are coded as healthy eating, energy dense or soft options. There are seperate menus for children, the elderly, those patients requiring pureed meals or other therapeutic diets and for patients with ethnic, cultural and religious dietary needs. Most patients are given the opportunity to choose their meals in advance however, this is not always possible on wards where patients are very ill or on very short stay areas.
The catering department prepares and cooks some special diets on site. If you are due to come into hospital, please inform the ward as soon as possible if you have special dietary requirements. In this way, we can ensure the required diet has been prepared and is in stock when you are admitted. In some cases, it may be necessary for you to see a dietician who will make a special request to the catering department for any dietary requirements you may have.
While you are in hospital, members of the hotel services staff will serve your meals. The Ward Housekeeper is responsible for preparing and serving the food at ward level. The Ward Hostess who carries out bedside cleaning assists the Housekeeper with meal and beverage service. The Ward Cleaner who is responsible for the cleaning of sanitary areas does not undertake any food or beverage related duties.
The trust recognises the importance of a quiet, conducive environment in which to enjoy your meals so we will try to keep interruptions to a minimum. Nursing staff will be on hand to assist with feeding those patients who need help and although we discourage visitors during meal times, relatives and carers are very welcome to stay if they wish to offer help with feeding.
Sometimes patients may miss a meal due to receiving treatment or undergoing tests. If this should occur, the Ward Housekeeper or other member of the ward staff can arrange a Snack Box or Lite Bite for you. These items are available 24 hours a day if required. If this is not made available to you, please ensure to ask a member of the ward team to arrange it.
If you experience any difficulties with the food service, please ask to speak to the Ward Housekeeper or Nurse In Charge who can request a member of the Hotel Services management team to visit you. We appreciate the opportunity to resolve difficulties as soon as possible rather than patients going home dissatisfied with this aspect of their stay.