Patients on special diets at West Suffolk Hospital are now able to choose from an even wider range of food following the introduction of a new menu designed to make mealtimes even tastier.
The new initiative gives patients with special nutritional requirements, such as people with diabetes or who need additional calories, the chance to select the same food as those without.
The catering team then adapts each meal to meet their needs using variations developed in partnership with the hospital’s dieticians.
The innovation means that patients on a healthy diet, for example, are still able to choose chips, but will be given a smaller portion, while meals for people who need extra protein may be boosted with extra meat or protein powder.
The new system has been introduced to give patients at the hospital even more choice, in turn reducing waste while stimulating their appetite and helping their recovery.
Previously, patients on special diets would be restricted as to what they could eat.
Brodrick Pooley, catering manager at the hospital, said: “We recognise the importance of providing our patients with high quality, balanced and appetising meals as good nutrition can have a positive impact on recovery.
“We work hard to prepare all of our food on site, which helps us to keep our costs down without compromising on quality.
“We know our patients really appreciate being given the chance to enjoy a variety of freshly prepared dishes, as we receive excellent feedback and some fantastic compliments following service.
“We hope to boost their enjoyment of our food still further by offering patients on special diets an even bigger choice of specially tailored foods.
“As well as stimulating their appetite, this will also give them the chance to manage their own diet during
their admission, as they would do at home.”
The hospital’s in-house catering team prepare around 400 inpatient meals per day, along with food which is served to staff and visitors in the hospital’s two restaurants.
“We are very proud of the service we provide to our patients, and regularly receive excellent feedback about the quality and choice we offer,” added Brodrick.
“But we are always looking for ways we can improve still further.
“We will be introducing several new initiatives over the coming months to give our patients an even better experience, such as further reducing the time between placing their order and receiving their meal.”