Food under the microscope at Colchester General Hospital
- Credit: Su Anderson
Food at Colchester General Hospital has been put through its paces this week as part of Nutrition and Hydration Week.
Frank Sims, chief executive of Colchester Hospital University Foundation NHS Trust (CHUFT), and director of nursing Barbara Stuttle helped to serve afternoon tea on Peldon Ward on Wednesday to speak to patients about their meals.
Yesterday visitors got their chance to sample the food at a Come Dine With Me style event at the hospital’s main entrance.
The latest figures show meals cost £10.32 per patient at Colchester General Hospital – the second-lowest in north Essex and Suffolk. The highest is Ipswich Hospital, with a cost of £13.87 per patient, while the lowest is West Suffolk Hospital at £9.04.
At Colchester potatoes and vegetables are prepared on site, while the protein element of meals was provided by Colchester-based food supply firm Anglia Crown.
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Paul Gilbert, patient environment manager at CHUFT who oversees catering, said the week coincided with a visit to the Anglia Crown factory.
He added: “Catering is a crucial part of the hospital, of getting patients better quicker – which is good for them and for the hospital.
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“It plays a major role, and any changes we make to the menu are run past our trust dietitians and the dietitians at Anglia Crown, who source their food as locally as possible, to ensure it remains nutritionally balanced.
“Catering is a major operation – providing food 365-days-a-year does provide some challenges. As well as making sure it s nutrionally balanced, we have to consider soft options for people with difficulty eating, plus vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal and gluten- or lactose-free meals too.”
Mr Sims added: “Good nutrition and hydration has a huge role to play in improving patient care which is why I and my executive colleagues are so keen to play an active part in the week.”