Following the introduction of a new meal provision system with seasonal and specially adapted menus, patient satisfaction levels have risen to 98%.
The decision to implement the Steamplicity system was made in 2014 following requests from patients to provide a wider choice of meals and the option of having their main meal at either lunch or supper. The system provides individual chilled meals and fresh vegetables which are steamed in the wards just minutes before serving to the patients.
Linda Griffiths, Assistant Facilities Manager said: “Using this system we are now able to offer patients a choice of 16 different hot main meals including vegetarian and vegan options. We also off ‘light bite’ hot choices as well as soup, jacket potatoes, various salads and a choice of sandwiches. We work closely with our staff, doctors, dieticians, speech and language therapists and Healthwatch (who represent patient needs locally) in order to formulate our selections and specialised menus.
“This menu is refreshed every six months to reflect patient summer and winter preferences. The new summer menu includes fresh salmon with hollandaise, roast beef or chicken, an all-day breakfast, pasta bolognese, and macaroni cheese. These new options are already proving to be very popular.
“We have introduced an à la carte texture modified menu adapted to specific patient needs offering purée, pre-mash and fork-mash meals. These include meat, fish and vegetarian options and we also supply appropriate hot and cold sweets. Indications are that being able to choose their meals has had a positive impact on the amount patients are eating.
“We have also recently introduced a finger food menu initially aimed at patients with dementia who can no longer use cutlery. We have a selection of five complete meal platters which can be eaten over several hours and can be eaten while walking around. This includes items such as chicken breast nuggets, chips, carrot batons and grapes as well as a high tea option. This has generated a lot of positive feedback.
“We have also devised a ‘picture flash card’ menu system for our standard menu and are planning to add the texture modified menu and finger food menu to these. These are being utilised for patients with Aphasia and children or patients who do not speak or read English as their first language.
“We are very proud of the impact this work has had and will continue working to offer the best possible Catering service to meet the needs of all of our patients”