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Hospital patients get gourmet menu

03 October 2012

Health Care

Mealtimes for patients in Southend University Hospital have just become even more of a highlight of the day following the introduction of eight new menu choices.

Exciting new dishes like salmon jambalaya, five-bean chilli, suet pud and spinach and ricotta cannelloni have been added to the extensive range of meals which are cooked on the ward for individual patients.

Mick Hailey, manager for hospital caterers Medirest, said: "Every 12 months we remove a couple of the options from our patient menu and bring in some new ones. This time we have introduced some really lip-smacking dishes."

And, after much effort, Mick and his colleagues have found the perfect way to steam jacket potatoes in the microwave and have now introduced this all-year favourite with a variety of fillings.

The patients' menu offers a choice of 35 main courses as well as a range of sandwiches, starters and hot and cold desserts, each clearly marked so patients on special diets know which would be appropriate for their particular needs.

Hospital dietitians were called in as taste-testers of the new range.

Wendy Aness, manager of dietetics and nutrition, said: "It is well recognised that good nutrition plays a vital role in helping patients to recover more quickly and fully. Mealtimes are a welcome interlude in what can often seem a very long day for them and so it is really important that we offer them well-presented, tasty and nutritious meals. These new dishes certainly meet all the criteria."

Mick added; "We are delighted our new menu has gone down so well with staff and are sure that our patients will be just as delighted with the choices on offer."