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"Pleased to be home thanks to the doctors who were..."

About: William Harvey Hospital

What could be improved

I was treated in Kings D1 ward from 27th-31st January following an accident . The worst aspect of my stay was the seeming total inability of the catering department to cope with my diet. I am a coeliac and made this clear on my admission. Every menu form I filled in I wrote "gluten free diet" all over it, this was completely ignored as, time and time again the correct food did not arrive, usually the wrong bread. The first time I managed to get the right bread (after a long wait) it was like rock and totally inedible. On one occasion I asked the Care Assistant if the Irish Stew on the menu was gluten free, he phoned the chef in my presence and was assured that it was. When it arrived there was pearl barley in it. I find it incredible that a chef in an NHS hospital is not capable of knowing whether a meal is gluten free or not. Please advise your kitchen staff that anything containing wheat, barley, oats or rye is a no no for coeliacs. I realise that I am in a small minority but your kitchen staff should be able to cope with anything.

Anything else?

The ward staff were quite good but, like every other hospital I have been in, there never seemed to be enough of them to do what was required.

Story from


Response from Steven Hams, Deputy Chief Nurse and Head of Quality, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust


Thank you for letting us know about your experience at the William Harvey Hospital. I am sorry to hear that we were unable to meet your dietary needs; I will pass your comments onto the Trust wide Matron for Nutrition and the catering team. We always aim to offer a range of food to meet the needs of our patients, I am sorry that on this occasion we did not meet our normally high standard. Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback, we very much appreciate it.

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