Saturday, 6 August 2022

Building a hospital without a kitchen

was never going to be a good idea. Just how foolish has been made obvious to me yet again.

I was at the supermarket when it opened this morning because P... of the midnight phone call called to apologise yesterday. She obviously feels very badly about waking me in the middle of the night. (Her niece A... informed her of what she had done. I did not and would not have done but A... thought she needed to know.) 

P.... is also very frustrated. She is a very intelligent, sensible sort of person. She is well aware of what she should and should not eat and, unlike many of us, manages to stay pretty much within her diet. 

But hospital food? It comes in from outside caterers and it seems that individual diets cannot be catered for - at least to the extent they need to be. I remember what the Senior Cat was given when he was there with the 'flu. We both had the strain that was not covered by the vaccine but I was crawling in to see him because the food he was being given was so bad he did not want to eat at all. The Senior Cat was not fussy but it was too much for him when faced with tough meat and rock hard grey potato wrapped in cellophane. 

P... needs an almost fat free diet right now. She keeps it very low fat at the best of times but right now it is essential. 

"I don't know what it was meant to be but it was greasy," she told me of the meal she had been given an hour or so earlier. The other meal was a sandwich in a plastic container, a bread roll and a cup of tea.

And then she told me something that really shocked me. "The dietician came in at two o'clock this morning and suggested that I get someone to bring me in something from home."

No, she was not mistaken. The dietician came to see her at 2am. The dietician suggested someone outside the hospital which is supposed to be caring for her bring in food for her. 

I am well aware that bringing in food is common in some parts of the world. There are no facilities at all in some places. Family have to do what they can to help. In parts of Africa and Asia for example I would accept that - as necessary but not acceptable. 

In this country it is not acceptable but I promptly said, "Middle Cat and I will bring something in." P... barely argued with me. She wants to go home.  Her 94yr old housemate has gone into respite for a fortnight and the other nuns on the premises will see she is okay once she is home but right now she needs good food. 

I have made her a clear soup and some no-fat chicken stew. It is about to go into six small microwave containers. Someone can heat it up for her. Middle Cat is getting some of the right sort of fruit.

Who on earth thought that building a hospital without a kitchen was acceptable? Why on earth does a dietician have to work in the middle of the night? There is something very wrong here. 

1 comment:

Beryl Kingston said...

Quite right Cat. You have my sympathy. It sounds horribly like the sort of thing that is happening in what remains of our NHS, Food is cooked and packed in a food factory in Wales and then driven to the hospitals. It is horribly unappetising. and unsuitable. I couldn't stomach it. But I don't know what the answer is.