"Working hard"

About: Russells Hall Hospital

My son stayed in the children's ward. Most of the nursing staff there were really friendly and helpful. In fact the majority of them made an effort to get to know and engage with my son. The first nurse we met didn't do so well though, she seemed to be in a bad mood and never even told us her name. The play assistants were amazing. We went for a visit the week before and a play assistant sat down with my boy and explained everything to him. It really made him feel more confident about his operation. It also worked well from the point of consistency and meant my son saw a friendly face when he arrived for his operation (thank you soooo much). There were even a couple of younger play assistants who were still at college and I was so impressed by their maturity and passion for their work. They made all the kids feel happy and comfortable. The major gripe I have with the hospital is the food. The general canteen seems to be working on improving it's offerings but there is little choice for vegetarians and much of the food on offer is high in sugar and fat. The meals offered to the patients on the children's ward is awful; brought in from outside the food is warmed on site. It lacks any appeal in terms of colour and taste and is not balanced (potato and cheese pie with a choice of mash or boiled potato). At every meal only one vegetable (apart from potato) is available and what is available appears to be from a tin. The hospital needs to review it's patients meals so that they can offer sustenance and nutrition to those that need it most. Hopefully the hospital will review it's food programme in the near future and look to provide something on a par with their quality staff :)

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Response from Russells Hall Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your son’s stay on our Children’s Ward. Making sure our young patients feel comfortable and safe while they are in our care is really important to us, so it is fantastic to hear that our staff were able to do this while looking after your son. We have passed on your lovely comments to the play assistants. It is a great shame the first nurse you met didn’t make the same effort to make you feel welcome. We have informed the nurse in charge so that she can raise your comments at the next team meeting to remind staff to be pleasant and polite at all times. We take the nutrition of our patients very seriously and we are committed to providing a healthy menu for our patients and as part of our ongoing commitment to patient experience we are currently reviewing the food we offer our inpatients. We have been involving patients, Trust dieticians and ward staff in the review process and will be asking them to try out new menus and different meal options to make sure the food we offer is both tasty and nutritious. We also hope to improve the choice available on our inpatient menus, both on the regular menu and those for patients with specific dietary requirements. Following feedback from patients in the first wave of our food review, we have already made some changes to our cold food options. We will pass your comments about food on to our catering department and will also use them in our food review. Your lovely feedback about our Children’s Ward and play specialists will be passed on to the team involved.

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