Thursday, 26 March 2009

An army marches on its stomach


In my hospital, there is nowhere where the staff can get a hot meal. I’ve been told that my hospital is one of the largest single employers in the town and it provides healthcare round the clock, every single day of the year. If you work in my hospital, you are expected to work 8-, 10-, 12-, 13- or even 24-hour shifts, depending on what you do, but despite this, there is nowhere that you can purchase a decent meal in all the time you’re on duty. To make matters worse, because of the location of the hospital, there isn’t anywhere nearby that people can pop out to and get some grub.

You have to either bring your own food in with you, choose from a selection of cold sandwiches and salads at the WRVS counter or at night (if it’s not too hectic) you can sometimes order a take-away to be delivered.

The reason I’m posting about this is because at the weekend I was introduced to a friend of a friend who was a fireman. We swapped stories about our jobs and one of the things that he told me was that at their station, they have hot catered food on site. Not gourmet platters, not fancy Heston Blumenthal-eque dishes, but hearty, hot food that they can buy when they’re on duty.

I know that the catering provision is pretty far down the priority list for those that run the hospital, but I can’t help but think that some sort of on-site hot food provision would make the hospital a happier place to work in. They say that an army marches on its stomach and, considering that the hospital employs so many people day and night, surely this can’t be so hard to achieve?

6 comments:

Henry North London said...

Welcome to the NHS Why do you think you cant make toast except on the maternity wards?

Lisa said...

That's disgraceful. The NHS should realise that simple things such as providing hot meals for staff, proper changing facilities, rest rooms etc can make all the difference to morale and therefore to productivity at work. The Army manage to provide good hot food in field conditions, or give you the means to cook your own hot food (ration packs and burners). They recognise the importance. Catering isn't an area the NHS should scrimp on, for staff or patients. All it does is make healthcare staff feel even more undervalued.

MadDoc said...

Isn't that against T+C for junior doctors - access to hot food is mandatory. Hope you're getting band 3 pay

Anonymous said...

We will need to employ a Hot Foodstuffs Co-ordination and Supply Manager to oversee the process, including drawing up a Hot-Pizza rapid access consumer pathway once all Health and Safety checks have been satisfactorily completed and the relevant stakeholders consulted.

Harry said...

yet another reason why i am seriously considering applying for military financial assistance if i go down the medical route. i know about the downsides, the commitment to that career and what it brings, but the way some of these blogs are painting nhs careers makes me wonder if i'd actually have to be MORE stupid NOT to at least apply for this.

MadDoc said...

Checked the New Deal standards - provision of hot food, or at least a vending machine, change machine and facilities for heating it must be provided.

Possibly the BMA may be of use.....