Hate hospital food? Bristol patients' group are on the case
Patient representatives have visited a Bristol mental health hospital to find out more about the food being offered to patients.
Representatives from Bristol Local Involvement Network (Link) paid the visit to Callington Road Hospital in Bristol to check they were serving appropriate food to people from black and minority backgrounds.
It was the first time that the group used its powers to visit a hospital in the Bristol area.
They decided to arrange the trip after members of the Bristol Link mental health working group received reports of concerns about the food available to people with cultural needs.
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Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP), who run the hospital were given notice of the Link's visit, which took place yesterday lunchtime.
They observed the meal-time routine on a ward and spoke to patients to get a sense of the food that was being offered. They also asked questions about the preparation of culturally sensitive meals, the training of the people that prepared them and the sourcing of the ingredients.
The Link members will compile a report of their findings, which will be presented to AWP.
Chairman of Bristol Link and its mental health working group John Langley said: "Issues with food were raised by members of the working group by black and ethnic minority group representatives.
"The concerns were about the quality of the food and whether it is culturally appropriate.
"We have to look into what people ask us to do. We give a voice to people who do not have a voice or who feel they are not able to speak for themselves."
Deputy director of quality and healthcare governance at AWP, Jane Britton said: "We are very pleased to be hosting Bristol Link members on their first visit to one of our sites. Link have an important part to play in ensuring the views of local communities are heard and acted upon by the Trust and we look forward to working in partnership with them.
"The standard of food in our hospitals is extremely important to us and we are keen to hear what Link members have to say.
"We will take very seriously any recommendations made by Link members so that we can continue to improve the food we provide for all our service users."
Anyone can be involved in Link and the network needs more people who can carry out visits like the one at Callington Road.
Mr Langley said: "It doesn't take specialist skills or qualifications to become an authorised representative."
To find out more about Bristol Link visit www.linkbristol.org.uk, call 958 9325 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.