Interestingly strange

Several years ago, my friend Annie Maw was thrown from her horse, Lily, and was paralysed from the waist down. She spent the next nine months in the Duke of Cornwall spinal unit in Salisbury. Her medical care, she says, was faultless but she had two complaints. The TVs were positioned in such a way that you could hear everyone else\’s and the food was disgusting.

\”If I hadn\’t had people bringing me in food, I think I would have starved. The few vegetables we did have were overcooked – yellowing sprouts and greens. Tomatoes were those tasteless ones you get all year round. Lettuce was limp. There was never any dressing. I remember one night getting a strange black lump on a plate – nothing else at all: it was an overcooked fishcake. That was the pits.\”

Annie is now raising money to plant a vegetable garden in the hospital grounds. Not only will it be good for the patients to get outside, but she reckons that they can pick and cook their own produce. The average stay in Salisbury is a year.

Yup, we\’re going to force the paralysed in the spinal unit to go out and dig their own allotments.

Some/many/most hospital patients might well benefit from such. Those in for some mental wobblies for example might rather enjoy a bit of stress free bending over the lettuces.

I just find it difficult to believe that those, if not securely strapped to a hospital bed then in a full body cast, are going to find it all that helpful.

9 thoughts on “Interestingly strange”

  1. Nutrition in the NHS is a scandal. Patients without relatives to bring food and help feed are commonly in danger of slowly starving to death.

    It’s not difficult to get food right. The Army manages it because it recognizes the importance. I suppose if we gave patients 9mm pistols then the incentives for NHS staff to feed them properly might be similarly aligned.

    I must also point out that I’ve just come out of hospital and the food was brilliant. The service and care was brilliant too. But my stay was in a private hospital..

  2. Food is poor in NHS hospitals because the majority of Britons simply don’t know or care what quality food looks, smells and tastes like.

    How else do you account for the poisonous rash of Macdonalds, Burger Kings, Harvesters, Domino Pizza etc, etc that dominate our High Streets?

    And have you looked at what the majority of supermarket customers stuff in their trolleys? Pre-packed, pre-frozen micro-waveable cardboards seems the most popular.

  3. I was in hospital for four weeks a couple of years ago. The food was very poor. The mcdonalds I got my family to smuggle in was infinitely preferable to the stewed, grey fare on offer.

  4. I was in a NHS hospital for two days last year. The food was noticeably better than I had at school (fairly random private/state mix-up), and the service was awesome. I was quite impressed given what I’d heard about how things can go – but I can see why after 4 weeks you’d be smuggling in Maccas and kebabs…

  5. “The pistols would also allow you to silence the fucking tellies too, Kay.”

    Wasn’t a problem for me: private room.

    Given that hotel rooms aren’t that expensive, I really fail to see why the NHS can’t deliver this either. Would certainly cut down on MRSA from filthy shared toilets splattered with infected feces. Then again, the several thousand people killed a year by MRSA aren’t considered very important by the NHS.

  6. My sister spent three weeks in a Spanish hospital earlier this year. The medical care was excellent, and the food was okay (although a bit lacking in fresh fruit and vegetables, so we took a lot of fresh fruit in for her) but very bland and very Spanish. By the end of it she never wanted to eat fish ever again. When she was discharged, I took her straight to McDonald’s. Oh boy did she enjoy it.

  7. In AU we commonly have patients with malnutrition due to the extremely poor diet in hospital. I was an inpatient for a week and the only thing i could eat, in a private hospital, was the jelly and red wine. The family brought in lunch and dinner every day. It is a scandal.

  8. GeoffH, Macdonalds, Burger Kings, and Domino Pizza provide much better food than many hospitals I’ve been in.

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