Airedale Hospital has launched a new mouth-watering menu for patients
The AGH Solutions catering team at Airedale Hospital have launched a delicious and innovative new range of menus for patients, as part of their ongoing commitment to keep people eating well while they are recovering in hospital. The menus, which exceed the nutrition standards of the British Dietetic Association, include tasty homemade soups, sandwiches and desserts which are served alongside hot meals. Every element of nutrition is overseen by an expert dietitian.
Airedale is one of only a handful of trusts nationally to have a dedicated dietitian working in the catering team, to ensure the menus meet the highest standards. Amy Pratt is the Senior Specialist Catering Dietitian at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and is also a member of the British Dietetic Association Food Services Specialist Group.
“The most important thing on my mind when we are thinking about our older patients here is malnutrition. We know nationally that up to 35% of patients are at risk of malnutrition and 70% of patients weigh less when they come out of hospital than when they go in. Malnutrition affects every system in the body and impacts patient complications and length of stay, and so that is why it is really important that we make sure we are offering adequate nutrition for all of our patients every day. What is more, the nutritional value of food that nobody eats is zero: we have to put on a menu that sounds appealing and dishes that look and taste delicious.”
The homemade menu items include Cranachan with fresh raspberries and oats, carrot and coriander soup, Caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, and profiteroles, all of which wouldn’t be out of place in a good restaurant, but not always what people expect to find on a hospital menu. The new menus have been extremely well received by patients, and preparing homemade dishes with fresh ingredients provides job satisfaction for the catering team.
“In this job every single patient in the trust is one of my patients because the food that they receive here is part of their care, it affects their recovery and their experience of being in hospital. If you ask people about their stay in hospital, 9 times out of 10 they will comment on the food, whether it was bad or good.”
The chefs also came up with the inspired name of Steeton Mess for a new ‘Eton Mess’ style dessert with meringue, cream and fresh fruit.
Lorna Bowes, Head of Catering and Hotel Services says:
‘’I couldn’t be prouder of what the catering team have achieved, the new menus have exceeded all expectations and we had great fun testing the new dishes.”