"No hot or cold food available apart from cakes and biscuits"

About: Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre

(as a relative),

I have been helping my Uncle get to the Beatson in Glasgow for his Radiotherapy. The Beatson provides cancer services for the West of Scotland.

After treatment both my uncle and aunt were looking forward to something to eat before making the journey back to Falkirk.

We went to the Cafe at the entrance and there was no hot or cold food available apart from cakes and biscuits.

This is an arduous time for my elderly relatives and to find no hot food available in the middle of winter is not acceptable. There were plenty patients and relatives looking for something to eat but unfortunately it seems really poor that very ill people were unable to get something to sustain them on their journey home.

My uncle has no complaint about the care he is receiving and has nothing but praise for the staff, however having something to eat is a pretty basic requirement and the whole person needs to be looked after.

I felt compelled to provide this feedback.

They had attended on 28th December and 4th January and the Cafe was not even open but patients were being seen.

This happened on 5th January at around mid-afternoon.

This is not acceptable for patients making long journeys at what is a very traumatic time for them

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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear Rita64,

Thank you so much for getting in touch to highlight this issue with us. I appreciate that this is a stressful time for your relatives, and for you as their niece and I also understand how something as simple as being able to have something substantial to eat before a long drive back home can make such a difference, especially after treatment.

I have spoken to the site facilities manager about the provision of food at the Beatson and he apologises that on this occasion there was none of the usual soup and sandwiches left – this is a small café which bases its orders on how much they sell on similar days but regretfully they sold much more than expected on this particular day. There is also a larger café within the main hospital, although I appreciate that this can often be a little too far for some of our patients to walk to.

Similarly, on the public holidays of 28th December and 4th January, the site tends to be very quiet with not much demand for these services, although we appreciate that there are a small number of clinics running on these days. I am therefore sorry that there was not this provision, and one of the things that we can look at is the information provided to patients and their loved ones about the facilities that are available, particularly over times of public holidays. I will get a bit more information about that and come back to you.

Overall however, I am glad that your Uncle is being well looked after by the staff at the Beatson and that the care he is getting has been of such a high quality. I wish him well with his further treatment.

Best Wishes,


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