What the RDE Hospital website says about Catering and Patient Meals

Extracts from RDE Hospital website  Accssed 8/3/15 (Italics below mine)
1. Catering
2, Patient Meals


Thank you for taking the time to visit the website of the Catering Department of the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. We hope your tour around the site will be both enlightening and informative.

During your tour you will be introduced to the various sections and the people who help to provide this unique catering service. Everyday we provide our patients with a multi-choice menu that is delivered to their bedside. Staff and visitors are also offered the same high class service with food served in surroundings that are pleasant and welcoming.

The Catering service is an 'In-House NHS Operation' and operates 15 hours per day, 365 days of the year. The service provides meals on the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Wonford and Heavitree sites as well as to Mardon House, Sycamore Resource Centre, Vranch House School and Centre and to Meals on Wheels.

The service consists of 3 departments, Kitchen, Patient Meals Service and Restaurant/Retail Services. The service employs some 100 full and part-time staff. It serves approximately 14,000 meals a week.

The Catering Department is at the forefront of implementing the NHS Plan for Better Hospital Food and we are committed in ensuring that the food we provide is appetising, nutritious and wholesome.

We have one restaurant and a number of snack bars. There are also a number of food and drink vending machines around the hospital.

Patient Meals Service
In April 2007 the cook-freeze system was introduced for the Patient Meals Service.

Advances in food and systems technology makes cook-freeze ideal for hospitals and replaces the conventional plated meal system previously used by the RD&E catering service for over 15 years. About 2,000 patient meals are served daily.

Nationally cook-freeze is used in over 300 hospitals and companies providing this service provide menu planning and nutritional support. All meals have been nutritionally assessed following national guidelines.

Cook freeze offers the Trust the opportunity to offer a more extensive menu which can be easily changed to reflect local eating trends. Positive feedback from patients on two wards where cook-freeze was piloted before it was introduced Trust-wide included comments like “the food is much hotter, the presentation is nicer and the portion size is what you want.”

How the cook-freeze Patient Meals Service system works
Menu cards filled out by patients are scanned electronically to inform the catering service what frozen stock is needed. New purpose-built trolley ovens, crockery and non-slip trays are loaded with the meals which are then served directly to patients on the wards. The trolleys are taken from the kitchens out to wards where the meals are cooked in time for lunch and supper.

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