Patient’s disgust at ‘three potatoes’ hospital meal

DISGUSTED ... Christine Gray complained that she was fed three boiled potatoes twice for her hospital meals. Inset, one of her meals.
DISGUSTED ... Christine Gray complained that she was fed three boiled potatoes twice for her hospital meals. Inset, one of her meals.

HOSPITAL chiefs have apologised after a South Tyneside mum was fed just three boiled potatoes two days running.

Christine Gray was admitted to Ward 3 at South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields a fortnight ago for a planned operation.

However, the 36-year-old from Jarrow was less than impressed with the meals she was given and claims ‘prisoners are fed better’.

Today hospital chiefs apologised over the “human error” and said an investigation has been carried out to ensure it does not happen again.

The mother-of-one said: “I was appalled at by what I was given – just three small boiled potatoes on a plate, no sauce or anything like that. Who would want to eat that?

“The following day I was given another three boiled potatoes.

“Prisoners get better fed than that. It’s disgusting. I was okay because my family brought me in food, but what about old people, who may not have any relatives?”

Ms Gray, who was at the hospital in Harton Lane, South Shields, from September 17 to 19, had selected her food from the menu which is given to all patients. For one dinner she had requested tomato soup, a jacket potato and cake with custard.

However, she ended up with three potatoes, a packet of dry crackers and two tubs of orange juice.

Another meal saw her being offered three more potatoes and a small sandwich, and during a third she was given a “rock-hard” bread bun.

Ms Gray said she complained about the quality of food, but claims she was told she’d have to raise the issue with the chef.

She said: “When I complained the person handing out the meal shrugged her shoulders and said I’d have to speak to the chef.

“On the day I was discharged I was later brought a jacket potato, but I was about to go home at this point, so I didn’t want it.

“I was so shocked by the state of the meals I took pictures of them on my phone so people could see for themselves.”

Steve Jamieson, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s director of corporate services, said: “We pride ourselves on the quality of the food we provide, which is largely fresh produce, locally sourced and cooked on site.

“All our menus are approved by a nutritionist and coded to meet individual patient needs.

“We seek regular feedback from our patients about the meals and this is, generally, extremely positive, so we are very disappointed that, due to human error, the food offered to Ms Gray was not of our usual high standard and we apologise for this. Ms Gray was offered alternative meals, but declined them.

“Our catering department has carried out a thorough investigation to ensure this does not happen again, and if Ms Gray would like to contact our customer services team, we will also be very happy to discuss her concerns in more detail.”

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