Short stay West Suffolk Hospital patients to get better breakfasts at time of their choice

(L – R) AMU sister Janet Gunsman, and ward manager Tracey Brandon on ward F7 at West Suffolk Hospita

(L R) AMU sister Janet Gunsman, and ward manager Tracey Brandon on ward F7 at West Suffolk Hospital - Credit: Archant

Short stay patients at West Suffolk Hospital are now able to enjoy breakfast at the time of their choice thanks to a new way of distributing food which has made mealtimes more flexible.

Patients on ward F7, which is part of the acute medical unit, can now have their cereal, rolls, preserves and porridge at a time to suit them. The change has been made possible by the purchase of a new trolley, which is stocked by catering staff and delivered to the ward the night before for use whenever patients are ready.

The £2,000 initiative has been designed to improve the experience which patients have while helping the ward to run more smoothly.

Tracey Oats, head of nursing medicine, said: “We are delighted with the new trolley, which is helping the ward to run much more smoothly by giving staff the flexibility to serve breakfasts at a time convenient to the patients.

“It is the same choice given to everyone else in the hospital. The only difference is they can have it when they are ready rather than waiting for a delivery.

“It is a simple solution which is already making a big difference on the ward and helping to further improve the experience our patients have.

F7 was always traditionally the last ward to receive breakfast from the hospital’s kitchens, with the trolleys arriving at 8.45am.

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The delivery clashed with the consultant’s ward rounds, which meant patients were often eating when seen by their doctor, as well as the drug rounds carried out by nurses, which left them unable to help with breakfasts.

At the same time, patients are often admitted to the short stay ward during the evening or night, and will therefore have missed meals and be very hungry by the time breakfasts used to arrive.