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Let them eat chips, say Dudley's Russells Hall Hospital chiefs

Dudley | News | Published:

Good news – chips are back in favour at Russells Hall Hospital after a rethink of the hospital's menu.

The Dudley hospital's meals service has been overhauled over concerns from patients about 'boring' meals and food not being hot enough.

Uninspiring offerings received a lukewarm response on the wards, prompting bosses to rethink what is on the menu.

And this week bosses at the Dudley hospital revealed patients wanted more chips on their menus, so they are now being offered more regularly.

Derek Eaves, quality manager at the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, said patients on wards where the new menus had been trialled had welcomed more chips.

He told Dudley Council's Health Scrutiny Committee: "Compared with the old menus, on the pilot wards there is certainly a lot more appreciation for what they are getting.

"Chips are not particularly nutritious but they are being re-introduced because it's what they want. We are listening to patients but we have to balance that out against nutrition. Patient satisfaction has gone up since."

It came as concerns were again raised about offerings for patients by members of the committee. A survey in 2013 showed that only 44 per cent of patients were happy with what was being served up at the hospital. Since then bosses have been working to make improvements to the meal service.

Interserve, which provides the meal service, has invested £500,000 into overhauling the service. A wider choice will be made available as well as new trolleys that warm plates.

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For lunch and supper, patients will have the choice of four hot meals, four cold options, six side dishes and a variety of hot and cold puddings. This is in addition to the 24 hot dishes available to pre-order from the special menu, which includes gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian and halal options.

Mr Eaves said he was confident the revamped meals would be well received.

He said: "It is an issue certainly and I know lots of things are being done to improve it. New menus will be rolled out shortly at the hospital."

Paula Clark, Chief Executive at the trust, said: "In response to requests from patients, we decided to offer chips and jacket potatoes more regularly. Chips were never taken off the menu completely."

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