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South London Healthcare Trust criticised for food survey results

PUBLISHED: 15:10 28 August 2013 | UPDATED: 15:10 28 August 2013

The Princess Royal in Bromley

The Princess Royal in Bromley

Archant

South London Healthcare Trust (SLHT) has been accused of hiding dissatisfaction with the food they serve, according to campaigners.

A report released by the Campaign for Better Hospital Food this week showed that the trust rated the quality of its food far higher than patients did in a survey carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) earlier this year.

SLHT gave itself a rating of 3.75 out of five in the staff survey - between good and acceptable - but only 4.2 out of every 10 patients said they thought hospital food was good.

Orpington health campaigner Julie Mott said: “When I worked for Bromley Link I heard a number of different complaints for patients - a lot of people said the food was inedible.

“It is patently obvious that hospital staff should not be putting together figures such as this. The figures from the CQC speak for themselves but changes can be made if there is the will to make them.”

Roger Goss, co-director of Patient Concern, added: “If managements are deliberately misleading us on hospital food, on what else are we being misled? Patient safety? Quality of care?”

In terms of choice of food, 8.3 out of every 10 patients questioned by the CQC said they thought it was good while SLHT’s staff assessment again gave it a score of 3.75.

The trust includes the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley, Queen Mary’s in Sidcup and Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich.

A trust spokesperson said: “We have always acknowledged that the wider patient survey indicates that food needs to be improved and we have worked hard with patient representatives to tackle this issue. We have a new revised food inspection process which is led by patients and not staff has recently given all of the trust’s hospitals a good food rating.

“There has been a review of the content of the menus on each hospital site and a range of changes have been implemented over the year to standardise and improve the quality of food for patients. New menus were introduced at the Princess Royal Hospital last year and our catering teams have introduced a new hand held electronic system to collect menus which has ensured a more timelier ordering of food to meet patient choice.

“The trust has also introduced a well received ‘red tray scheme’ for elderly patients so that nursing staff identify the special nutritional needs of patients and deliver a nutrition plan as part of the patient’s overall care plan.”

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