Thursday, 18 June 2009

Why is hospital food so damned awful?

Apologies for the lack of blogging, I've been a bit pre-occupied when my next child made an unexpected appearance early when my wife's waters broke at 36 weeks. I won't bore you with all the details but thankfully baby Toby was born on the 29th May at 1030 weighing 5lb8oz. Mum and baby are doing well.

Anyway there were numerous things that caused problems, not least there being no beds on labour ward- a recurrent problem. You'd think with a Labour government in power they'd at least get that sorted ;)

I don't know if you've ever been to Leeds General Infirmary but its main car park is a bloody nightmare. It is, without any doubt, the worst designed car park in the UK. The angles on the approach to the ramp to go up each floor that you have to swing out wide to get around them. Newcomers to the car park regularly get it wrong and have to do a sort of 3-point turn to get up each level. The worst thing though, is the 1foot thick concrete miniwalls up each ramp. It seems they have designed these to jut out and rip up your wheel arch as you try and navigate the turn.

I've caught my car on it and so has my wife. In fact if you look at each ramp wall you can see a multi-coloured smear of car paint that is a testament to the number of cars that have had their wheel arches ruined on those damned stupid wall ramps. If you, like I did, wander about and look at the rear driver side wheel arch of most of the staff cars in the car park I would estimate approx 25-30% have been torn up by that stupid-ass designed car park. Let that be a warning to you if you ever park at the main car park in the LGI. Drive a small car.

Ok the other thing that I really don't understand is why is hospital food so bloody shit? I've been to multiple hospitals in the past and I have yet to go in one where the food they serve the patients is nutritious, edible and tasty. An adult male requires 2500 calories per day, 2000 for a female. This is higher if you are ill, recovering from surgery or breast feeding. Quite how you are meant meet these requirements on hospital food alone I do not know.

I remember doing my medicine for the elderly job and regularly we'd prescribe fortsips (calorie and protein dense milkshakes) to compensate for the utterly shit food that was served to patients. Honestly if you served this food to prisoners there would be riots. But as its a bunch of old crumblies who can't complain who gives a shit right?

Its no better on the adult wards for medicine and surgery. The portion sizes are pathetic, any salad consists of limp lettuce and a slice of anaemic tomato. Bread is hard, white and cardboard like. Butter is frozen solid. Everything is reheated and alarmingly whatever the ingredients it contains it all seems to taste and smell the same once it comes out of the reheater. Its a fact that the LGI cannot cook any fresh food on the premises for patients.

Get this, it is prepared in Wales and the transported via lorry to the hospital where it is reheated and then served. God alone knows why this is. Carbon footprint be damned I guess. If the swine flu pandemic kicks off and lorry drivers go off sick then I've no idea how they'll get the food to the LGI. I very much doubt relatives will bring it into a hospital full of swine flu patients.

One of the starters on the menu they gave to my wife was Orange Juice. Since when has a drink been a starter?! Oh yes, I remember now, when I did Home Economics when I was 13!! WTF? It that wasn't bad enough one of the main courses was Gravy. Thats right. Gravy. It can't possibly be a bowel of gravy could it? We weren't brave (or foolish?) enough to order it to find out. Needless to say my wife had all sorts of nice food bought in by me to supplement/replace the bloody awful shite the LGI had the audacity to serve to their patients.

So, if ever you have to go to the LGI for to visit a patient then make sure you come in a small car ( or park elsewhere) and for God's sake bring them some decent food (not grapes!).


  1. Picked my mum up from hospital today after a knee replacement. She said the instructions were not to even bring in food to patients. I guess so that they do not get blamed for incidents of food poisoning she had a few complaints as well. One day she was just brought a baked potato with butter- nothing else.
    Very strange.

  2. When I had my daughter I got my hubby to go the the visitors canteen and buy me sandwiches instead as they were more edible than any of the food served on the ward. I survived on them and corn cakes and bars of Green & Blacks chocolate he brought in for me. I was desperate to get home and only stayed two nights after a c-section. I started to feel better when I got home and could eat proper food. I am sure it contributed to the delay in my milk coming in too. Goodness knows what I would have done if I was actually ill. I would have thought providing good nutrition was an essential part of helping patients get better.