Good hospital food? That’s just pie in the sky

<span>‘I shut my eyes and ate it as a compromise to survive.’</span><span>Photograph: Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group/Getty Images</span>
‘I shut my eyes and ate it as a compromise to survive.’Photograph: Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Re Viola Di Grado’s article on delicious hospital food (In Italy, we live to eat. But tasty NHS meals put our bland hospital food to shame, 21 May), I would like to know which London hospital she was in so I can ask to go there should I need future hospital treatment. I was recently an inpatient for three days at a major London teaching hospital, waiting to be transferred to another hospital to have a pacemaker inserted. On the first day, I was shown a crumpled piece of paper with about six choices for an evening meal typed on it. I chose chicken tikka masala. What I got was something resembling a grey cowpat. I had no idea what it was, and when I asked as my plate was collected, I was told it was chicken pie.

On the second day, I again chose the chicken tikka masala and got an all-day breakfast. On the third day, having made the same choice, I got fish pie. None of these meals were at all memorable.
Mike Cantor

• I read Viola Di Grado’s article with disbelief. I have just spent over four weeks in an NHS hospital and my experience of the main course food there bore no resemblance to the range and quality of the food she describes. Many of the sweets and desserts were of good quality, particularly those from sealed containers, such as yoghurt, but the same could not be said about the main courses. Indeed, to describe them as abysmal could be taken as a compliment.

Like Viola with her family food, I also shut my eyes and ate it as a compromise to survive. No one expects hospital food to be of the highest quality, but surely it should be edible and look vaguely appetising. I would expect that good food is an important aid to a patient’s recovery.
Alan Beamish
Thirlby, North Yorkshire

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