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Food Choice available at local hospital

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by mazbee, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. mazbee

    mazbee · Well-Known Member

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    My husband has been going backwards and forwards to hospital for tests, consultant appointments and medical procedures, as he has become disabled with with several problems over the last two years, and he had a couple of TIA's over Christmas and New Year.

    Over the past three months we have had several appointments with different departments on the same day, which means we spend a lot of hours at the hospital on those days. Because of this we have been eating at the hospital cafes (they have more than 1) on those days.

    The problem is they only seem to offer high starchy carb foods, even in the vending machines.

    I decided to take my own food, and was told I could not eat any food not bought in the cafes, and yet those are the only places that eating inside the hospital is allowed for visitors.

    I explained that I was a diabetic type 2 and needed to eat to keep my bg 's level, and the choice of food on offer was not suitable for the type of diet that I follow.
    This fell on deaf (or dumb) ears, again I was asked not to eat my own food in their cafe's.

    I ended up going out of the building across the road to sit in the car to eat my food, where I had other drivers who were looking for a car space to park, harassing me and getting angry when I told them I was not going anywhere, I was trying to eat my dinner. This was very stressful.

    I complained to the staff at a later clinic my husband attended, and the staff told me they never use these cafe's as they know the choice of food on offer is very poor and not conductive to a healthy lifestyle, they have their own staff rooms where they can heat and eat their own meals. They have complained to management, but nothing has changed.

    We have a couple of more days this week of taking my husband for pre op tests, investigations and follow up appointments, where we will be spending at least 5 hours per day at the hospital, in different departments.

    I have written out my complaint to hand in to the Hospital for my husband's next visit. I do hope they change either their attitude or menu.

    Sorry for the gripe I just needed to let off steam.
     
  2. jowatkins

    jowatkins Type 2 · Member

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    I know how you feel. I have recently been in hospital for spinal surgery and took my own breakfast mix as I guessed there would not be anything suitable on the menu. I was right but it raised a lot of smiles even from the nurses - it seems as though no-one can appreciate the problems of diabetic diet until they have to deal with it themselves.

    Write to the Chief Exec of the hospital. I usually find that going to the very top actually gets something done.

    Jo
     
  3. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Definately worth writing a letter of complaint to the hospital concerned, I would address it to the chief executive.
     
  4. Patch

    Patch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    If there is ONE PLACE in the world where the cost food should be less important than its nutritional content it should be hospitals.

    Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth!
     
  5. Sid Bonkers

    Sid Bonkers Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Definitely a letter to the chief exec stating in no uncertain terms how you as a diabetic were treated in the trusts hospital.

    That said I personally would have carried on eating my lunch in the restaurant and told who ever it was that if they didn't like it they could call security and have me removed but if that happened I would go straight to both the local paper and the national press, but thats just me and while I never go looking for confrontation I always stand up for what I believe is right :thumbup:
     
  6. al_leister

    al_leister Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    by Sid Bonkers » 4 minutes ago

    Definitely a letter to the chief exec stating in no uncertain terms how you as a diabetic were treated in the trusts hospital.

    That said I personally would have carried on eating my lunch in the restaurant and told who ever it was that if they didn't like it they could call security and have me removed but if that happened I would go straight to both the local paper and the national press, but thats just me and while I never go looking for confrontation I always stand up for what I believe is right


    Go Sid......
    I think you are quite right. I dont search-out confrontation but would be prepared to stand my ground for my basic rights. When we all decide we have had enough of this sort of teatment and take action on an individual basis then the powers that be will sit up and take note.
     
  7. Grazer

    Grazer · Well-Known Member

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    Course not Sid! :roll:
     
  8. Patch

    Patch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'LL FIGHT YOU ALL!!! :crazy:

    Only joking, guys. You know I love y'all! :D
     
  9. smitha48

    smitha48 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,

    I'd also try the patient support team......At the hospital i attend, Liverpool Heart and chest Hospital (LHCH), they are very good and have the ear of the CEO.

    If nothing else, copy them in on your letter to the CEO.

    Just a thought

    Tony
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous · Guest

    I would also copy your local MP at his/her Westminster address and just note a cc The Rt Hon etc etc at the top of your letter.
     
  11. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Likewise Sid, never in a 100 years would they forcefully remove someone for eating their lunch in an eating area.
     
  12. mazbee

    mazbee · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your words of encouragement :D

    Today we were at the hospital for 3 visits between 10.30am to 4.00pm.

    I asked the main Cafe (Can't call it a restaurant :problem: ) if they could make me a nice Omlette as their food still was not suitable, (Mainly overcooked pasta in some kind of sauce, & Chips). I explained I was diabetic, and none of the food on offer was suitable, not even any plain salad, every salad was covered in a mayonnaise sauce and was contained in a plastic tub. They said they could not cook anything other than what was chosen for the menu for that day.

    They explained that since the hospital opened it new shiny outpatient building, all the catering was franchised out to fast food operators. (they even have a Costa Coffee shop there!)

    So I filled in a complaint form there and then and handed it to the patient liaison members (PALS) and asked them to take my complaint higher if they could.
    I have left my name and address with a contact number, I will now see if any one contacts me or changes the choice of foods to offer suitable foods.

    I will give the hospital a month, ( we will be going there twice a week for 3 hours for the next 6 weeks) if they do not respond or change to a healthier menu, then I may take up this problem with the local press.

    No wonder we diabetics get so depressed...... LOL :?
     
  13. ladybird64

    ladybird64 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, I think the situation regarding food for diabetics in hospital has got worse rather than better.

    I remember a few years ago, if somebody was diabetic, a notice was clearly written above their bed saying "diabetic diet". Agreed, not everyone would appreciate having their "status" on view for all and sundry to see but at least it made people aware when food was being ordered that diet had to be watched.

    My daughter was very ill a few years ago, she is a type 2 on insulin but is also on a very restricted diet due to another condition she has. While I was there, she was served fish, chips and processed peas (which got sent back by me). With the afternoon cuppa, she was also served a piece of fruit cake-not asked if she wanted it, it was just given to her automatically.
    When I told the lady she couldn't have it as she was diabetic, the answer was "oh it's alright, its got fruit in it so she can have it". :crazy:

    More recently, when my mum was in hospital, she was given whatever off the menu she fancied and was regularly served a packet of biscuits with her tea.

    What people ate used to be quite an important issue in hospital in the past but now seems to have fallen by the wayside like so many other things.

    Good luck with your complaint Mazbee.
     
  14. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    Depends on a definition of diabetic diet.
    I was in hospital last year and was given a "diabetic" diet. Fish and chips was one of them, roast dinner with all the trimmings, chicken pie, a banana for dessert etc......The meals were already plated up and had travelled quite a distance in a refrigerated lorry so meals were ordered in advance. When I tried to explain what I needed to eat and why it fell on deaf ears. Until diabetics have a say in what they can and cannot eat then things will not change.
     
  15. ladybird64

    ladybird64 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Point taken Catherine but it would still hopefully reduce the amount of bsicuit and cake that are given out automatically.

    We cannot expect non-medical personnel (the tea-ladies) to be aware of the complexities of what a diabetic needs to eat for meals but would maybe make them think twice about the tea rounds!

    I have had to make a stand on the food given out to both my mum and daughter as neither were in a fit enough condition to speak out for themselves.

    I commend what the OP is doing, hopefully a formal complaint will not fall on deaf ears.
     
  16. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    We shouldn't really be complaining about Hospital food as the House of Lords are having it much tougher than us. :crazy: :crazy:
    They are not at all happy with the food served there although they get £300 for every attendance and for every £10 they spend on food we, the taxpayers, add a top up of £10.37.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politic ... -food.html
     
  17. hellsbells

    hellsbells · Newbie

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    My local hospital - Fazarkerly in Liverpool - has a fantastic cafe as well as a restaurant, great for day patients or visitors. However, it was a completely different matter when I had to stay in overnight. I went in as an emergency admittance at 9.00 pm and wasn't offered a single thing to eat until 9.00 am the next day when I was eventually offered a peace of toast. I am type 2 so this made me feel really ill .... but as with other people's experiences, this fell on deaf ears.
     
  18. casamorena

    casamorena · Member

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    I have been down this route myself after a spell in hospital about a year ago. I contacted the Patients' Liaison Officer and it all created great interest and I was invited to a meeting between the hospital and the caterers to discuss the problems. However, after one then another couldn't make the appointments it all went quiet, then someone left and it all seems to have gone away now. They just are not really interested. The problem is that the catering is nothing to do with the hospital, it is all outsourced and so they don't have any say over who eats what where so it won't be any good you taking it into your own hands to defy the rules - the company that supply the catering have a perfect right to ban you from eating your own food on their premises, the same as if you were in any other restaurant.

    Until the government take a stand on it nothing will be done but the catering side brings in much needed revenue so I think we can whistle for that one!
     
  19. Pickwick

    Pickwick Type 2 · Member

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    Dangerous places, hospitals...

    This seems to be pretty typical at most hospitals these days. I rarely eat at the public cafe in my local general hospital - there seem to be few healthy choices.

    Even worse on the wards. My wife isn't a diabetic, but suffers from serious allergies. In hospital last year she simply got fed up with telling staff time and again that she couldn't eat much of what was provided. No-one seemed to be taking the slightest notice. She often went - and was left to go - hungry.

    It was worse for an elderly lady in a nearby bed. An insulin-dependent diabetic, she wasn't allowed to handle her own condition, even though she was in for something else. She simply couldn't get staff to understand that her diabetes needed a better approach than "you'll need to wait until we get around to it." It ended with a furious GP calling in and fighting with the administration until the lady was given back her diabetic kit and allowed to monitor and treat her diabetes herself.

    In my wife's case, her condition grew worse rather than better - critically worse - finally traced to a twin drip that had been delivering HUGELY wrong doses of two separate drugs. Actually the doses were right but had been reversed by mistake - a mistake not spotted for 2 DAYS! I couldn't visit as often as I'd have liked simply because of the cost (our 'local' hospital is almost 40 miles away in an area with little public transport.) But I went there at a rate of knots when she phoned me in tears - to find her semi-comatose and her body swollen out of all recognition. I insisted she be discharged - immediately. I wasn't prepared to wait until they put things right because I simply didn't trust them - their transparent excuses were enough to suggest that they were far more interested in covering their backs than in my wife's health. The hospital were furious, but I threatened a court order if they didn't release her. I took her home, where under my and our GP's care she was well again within a week. I'm convinced to this day that had I left my wife in that establishment, she'd have been dead within days - just another regrettable statistic from which, no doubt, 'lessons would be learned' once again.

    For myself, I have a list of medical problems that myself and my GP laughingly call 'galloping hypochondria'. Old age doesn't visit alone. A couple of them serious enough that my T2 diabetes isn't even the top priority. I've made it known both to my wife and my GP that if I'm taken ill again - however seriously - I am on no account whatever to be admitted to our (or any) general hospital - an establishment in which I'd hesitate to kennel my dogs. I'm very serious - out-patient visits there are bad enough (not to mention expensive and time-consuming enough.) My life expectancy isn't great right now, but I'd rather foreshorten it than end my days under a chemical cosh, staring at a wall as my savings disappear in hospital 'optional charges'. Academic, as in my direct and far-too-often-repeated experience, little is likely to forshorten my life more than an NHS hospital.
     
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