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Families ‘not very happy’ with the quality of food at Romford’s Queen’s Hospital

PUBLISHED: 18:30 04 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:51 05 July 2017

An NHS nurse giving food to patients at a hospital.

An NHS nurse giving food to patients at a hospital.

PA Wire/PA Images

A report into the quality of meals at Queen’s Hospital found relatives of patients “were not very happy with what was being served”.

The report by Healthwatch Havering inspectors to the Havering Council’s health and overview sub-committee last week also revealed that “staff were too stretched to attend properly to every patient”.

The three teams of inspectors visited the hospital, in Rom Valley Way, Romford, on October 6 to evaluate in-patient meals and inspected Bluebell A and B wards, Harvest A ward and Sunrise B ward.

Inspectors were generally impressed with the service and quality of food in Bluebell A and B but noticed the last patients were sometimes given what was left instead of what they ordered.

One patient on the ward, who is a dietician, said the food was “appalling, with little nutritional value at all”.

Sunrise B, which specialises in care of the elderly, came in for the most criticism with inspectors noting, “there were not enough staff available to feed every patient their food” with one nurse appearing “exasperated by the situation”.

A lack of choice was highlighted as an area of concern.

“The team gained the impression that choice was limited because this is an elderly care ward – but the consequence was that, because patients were not being fed the food of their choice, they were not eating what they were offered and wastage levels were accordingly high,” the report stated.

The Sunrise B inspectors also noted that “although staff were enthusiastic about the meal time, there were too few of them to make a difference”.

The inspectors concluded staff were too busy to spare help to every patient who needs assistance ordering food and added, “it would not be feasible to make specific recommendations about mealtimes”.

Sodexo, the company that caters Queen’s Hospital, welcomed the feedback and said it is working on an action plan with Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital Trust (BHRUT).

BHRUT chief Nurse Kathryn Halford said: “Since this inspection took place we’ve worked closely with Sodexo to address these issues. Our dieticians work closely with them to ensure all our patients’ individual needs are met.”

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