BATHURST Hospital management has apologised for serving a patient an awful plate of brown slop for dinner last week.
A photo of the meal was sent to the Western Advocate by a visitor to the hospital who said “my dog eats better than that”.
The patient’s family also complained directly to hospital management who said the meal clearly did not meet the expected standards.
Bathurst Hospital general manager Cathy Marshall said kitchen staff had been told to lift their game.
“Bathurst Hospital apologises for the poor food provided to a patient in our care last week. The presentation of this food clearly does not meet the standards we expect,” Ms Marshall said.
“This complaint was brought directly to our hospital general manager last week by a family member of the patient, resulting in a clear direction to kitchen staff to raise food preparation standards.”
The visitor who brought the meal to the attention of the Western Advocate was “not sure what it was”.
“Let’s feed it to our politicians and feed the people in hospital what our politicians get for lunch in Parliament House,” she said.
Ms Marshall said all meals served at hospitals across the Western NSW Local Health District met the “high nutrition standards” outlined in the Agency of Clinical Innovation Nutrition in Hospitals policy.
“Meals served to patients at Bathurst Hospital are created by certified vendors and hospital staff, who work to strict protocols to ensure what is provided to patients meet health and nutritional standards, and there are no plans to change that system,” Ms Marshall said.
“Food options at Bathurst Hospital are developed by a local on-site hospital dietician and a WNSWLHD dietician.
“We offer a 14-day menu from which patients can select their choice of hot food with accompanying vegetables, salad and/or sandwiches.
“Meals are also made to meet specific patient dietary requirements.”
Ms Marshall said the hospital did not stop families and friends bringing in meals for patients but it was important that the meals were appropriate for the patient’s recovery.
“While family and friends are not stopped from bringing food into the hospital, staff do ensure information on food safety is provided to patients and their families when they do,” she said.
“This is to ensure the food they’re bringing is appropriate to the clinical needs of the patient.”
Ms Marshall said there was a complaints process in place for all Western NSW LHD hospitals.
“Every hospital across the WNSWLHD complies with the NSW Health Complaint Management Policy which gives patients, family members or friends the option to make complaints in a verbal or written manner,” she said.
“We take all complaints seriously and will continually work to improve our hospital service.”