We obviously know how important a nutritious diet is to our patients.
We also listen to the feedback from our patients regarding the quality of our catering services and use this information to continually improve satisfaction levels.
We are pleased that this feedback has been increasingly positive since our massive investment of £10million in two purpose built kitchens capable of producing the 43,000 meals a day needed to feed our patients.
Mr Maguire’s comments have already been shared with us as, in the spirit of openness and transparency, we gave him an “access all areas” pass to our food production and service in response of his Freedom of Information request regarding catering quality issues.
Some of the suggestions he made are valid – if not wholly practical in a catering environment such as ours which demands the production of 1.2 million patient meals every month.
As a restauranteur we can understand his expectation that such items as carrots would be freshly peeled and diced in the kitchen where the meal is prepared. This manually intensive approach would simply not be cost effective when catering on a scale such as ours.
Pre-diced vegetables are widely purchased in quality food retail outlets by discerning home cooks every day and we are sure Herald readers would fully understand why this option makes economic sense.
It would be wrong for anyone to think that we would ignore practical and constructive criticisms that could improve quality. Indeed we have recently recruited a suitably qualified mass production catering expert to help us further drive up quality in our production processes and deliver even higher patient satisfaction levels. It should be noted, however, that we have no knowledge of any his claims that there are “issues with the ovens not being maintained and the seals on doors breaking leading to oven doors blowing open”.
One valid comment from Mr Maguire related to the quality of mashed potato. The mashed potato he refers to was provided to us from an approved supplier on the national procurement list. We have since opted to change suppliers and so have addressed this issue.
This action demonstrates our commitment to continuing quality improvement and listening to patient and other feedback.
Another improvement also sees a senior nurse on every ward overseeing each meal time with a designated meal-time coordinator ensuring patients get the meal they ordered and that it is at the correct temperature.
Our meals are served by staff trained in food service allowing our nurses to concentrate on providing assistance to those patients who need help with eating and drinking at the bedside.
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected].nhs.uk
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