The quality of food served up at a Sheffield hospital is ‘very impressive’ - but more could be done to help patients at mealtimes, a new report has found.
Sheffield Council’s health scrutiny committee set up a group tasked with studying the standard of food served at hospitals across the city.
So far the group has toured the central food production unit at the Northern General Hospital, as well as visiting wards.
A report to a committee meeting said: “The group sampled a range of meals and were very impressed. The group felt reassured.”
But the report said there were ‘missed opportunities’ around the hospital’s trolley service, which lets patients choose food at their beds.
“Our observations showed different approaches. In some instances, meals were plated and distributed, effectively recreating the plated meals service, which limits choice.”
Some patients had difficulty reaching their food, and ‘more could be done’ to inform people about services.
Kevin O’Regan, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ hotel services director, said: “We will take on board the helpful comments to make further improvements. We have invested over £7 million in catering facilities which includes a new system to allow patients to choose their meal from a mobile counter. The system will be fully rolled out by spring 2014.”
Mr O’Regan said extra volunteers, snack boxes, ‘lite-bite’ meals and more comfortable eating environments have been introduced.
“We will continue to raise awareness of changes throughout the coming months,” he said.
Services will be reviewed in 12 months, and visits are being carried out to the Royal Hallamshire, Jessop wing and Weston Park hospitals.