For patients
& visitors

Meal service

Medirest in partnership with Southend University Hospital recognises that eating a healthy, balanced diet is extremely important during your stay in a hospital. Eating the right food can help enhance your recovery and hopefully help to reduce the length of time of your stay.

The Steamplicity menu includes an extensive variety of hot dishes. We also have a number of supporting special dietary menus to cater for different needs and tastes; therefore please ask a ward host/hostess if you would like further information.  

Whilst you are with us we will provide you with breakfast, lunch and supper as well as light refreshments. Hot drinks are available throughout the day and water will be available by your bedside at all times, unless of course, it is medically inappropriate. 

Meeting your dietary requirements

Through Steamplicity, we can provide you with an individual meal from the main Steamplicity menu that caters for specific requirements such as diabetes, energy dense, gluten free, low salt, vegetarian, modified textures and healthy diet choices. This menu is also available in large flash cards, Braille, and in seven foreign languages.

However, if you require a menu for more complex dietary needs, feel that your dietary needs are not being met or would like more information on allergens or full nutrient details, then please ask to speak with the Medirest Catering Management team who would be more than happy to help.

We also have menus available for religious, cultural or vegan preferences which include Kosher, Halal, African and Caribbean, vegetarian and vegan.

Protected mealtimes

During lunch and evening meal times all non-urgent activity on the ward stops so that nurses and ward assistants are able to help with the meal service and also provide extra assistance for those patients that need it. This means that all meals are served promptly to ensure they maintain their temperature and freshness. As Steamplicity meals are cooked to order, should you miss a mealtime due to treatment or loss of appetite, a meal, snacks or light option will be available to you at a later time.

Meal & drink times

Meals are served in the wards each day at the following times*:


Breakfast 7.30am - 9.00am
Lunch 11.45am - 1.00pm
Supper 4.45pm - 6. 00pm


*This could slightly vary depending on ward/department

Hot beverages are offered after these meals and will also be offered at 10.00am and 2.00pm by ward host/ess. If you require an additional hot drink please ask the nursing team on the ward.

For family, friends and visitors

We understand the importance of also caring for your family, friends and visitors during your stay with us as we know hospitals can be a very daunting and difficult environment to be in. We have a number of catering amenities to support them and make sure their visit is an easy and comfortable one, these are detailed below.

Lifestyle and DeliMarché café

The Lifestyle restaurant menu provides a wide range of hot meals, and snacks, sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts - including healthy and balanced hot meal choices as well as healthy meal deals to go. The DeliMarché Café offers a range of hot drinks including Starbucks Coffee and cold drinks, hot and cold snacks including - baguettes, pasties and healthy snacks. This area is especially designed for those on the move. Both outlets are located on first floor, Prittlewell Building and are open from 7.00am to 8.30pm.

There is also a Delimarche café at the Cardigan Wing entrance (ground floor) with a similar range of hot and cold snacks and hot drinks including Costa Coffee beverages . A wider range of healthy hot and cold meal options will be introduced following refurbishment of the unit scheduled later in the year.

24/7 Costa Coffee

Our Medirest outlets close at 8.30pm but if you would like a hot drink and a snack Costa Coffee is open 24/7 on ground floor, Tower Block Building (outpatients main entrance).

Our aims

  • Medirest strive to offer you the best possible service and ensure the following:
  • Provide variety and choice at all times
  • To provide you with and promote healthy, wholesome food
  • Help you to find a suitable meal that meets your dietary needs and offer you meals that are also interesting and full of flavour.
  • Ensure our team are polite, friendly, helpful and professional at all times.
  • To support your visitors and provide a welcoming, relaxing and accessible catering environment 


Patient Satisfaction Survey

We are continually looking to improve our service and feedback from you is invaluable. If you would like to complete a short survey on your experience, please request one from your ward host/ess and once completed, hand it back to the member of Medirest team or you could send your feedback to egle.cironkaite@compass-group.co.uk