Catering Services – Information for patients, relatives and carers

Information about the Trust's catering services.

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  • Introduction

    We would like to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible and hope you enjoy the catering services provided.

  • Meals are normally served at:

    • Breakfast is between 7am and 9am
    • Lunch is between 12 noon and 1pm
    • Evening meal is between 5pm and 6pm but times may vary depending on the clinical needs of the ward
    • Supper is at 9pm

    Hot and cold drinks are available throughout the day.

    Protected mealtimes
    We have arrangements in place so you are able to enjoy your meal without any interruptions.

  • Food outside of meal times

    If you are not on the ward at the meal time you will still be able to get something to eat. A packed lunch or individual meal to be re-heated can be pre-ordered. The wards have a small supply of food to make snacks like soup, toast, sandwiches or cereals.

  • Healthy eating

    If you want to eat healthily, have diabetes, high cholesterol or need to lose weight we suggest that you choose:
    • More Fibre – wholemeal bread, wholegrain cereals, fruit, vegetables and jacket potatoes.
    • Less Fat – choose meals labelled with a heart symbol, eat fewer fried foods and pastries, use margarine or butter sparingly.
    • Less Sugar – choose options labelled with a heart symbol, eat fresh fruit in place of sweetened puddings.
    • Less Salt – always taste food before adding salt as food is already seasoned.

    For further information about healthy eating ask to see the ‘Healthy Eating’ section of the ward nutrition file.

  • Menus

    The catering staff and dietitians work together to make sure the menu is balanced and nutritious.

    Ask a member of staff to print off a copy of the menu from the Catering intranet page.

    We want to make sure everyone has a choice of food to eat.

    • Breakfast is fruit juice, cereal and or toast
    • Lunch is a light meal like soup or fruit juice, a sandwich or jacket potato with filling and a cold dessert
    • Evening meal is the main meal of the day, you will have a choice of fruit juice from the ward, hot items or a salad and a dessert

    Our menus contain a wide selection of foods in order to provide plenty of options.

    There are symbols beside some of the dishes to help you decide:

    V is for vegetarian dishes.
    A heart symbol means dishes are lower in fat, salt and sugar. They are the best options to choose for healthy eating including diabetes.

  • Pictorial menus

    Pictorial menus are available to print off from the Catering departments intranet page. These may help you decide what food you would like to choose. Ask a member of staff to print off a copy from the Catering intranet page.

  • Alternative menus

    We have alternative foods available for specific dietary or cultural needs. For example:
    • Vegan and vegetarians
    • Modified texture meals e.g. pureed, minced and moist, soft and bitesized
    • Halal
    • Kosher
    • Gluten free
    • Allergen free
    • Finger foods

    Other menu options are also available please discuss these options with a member of staff or a dietitian.

  • Allergen information

    For information on which food items contain allergen ingredients, an allergen identifier file is available to view on the Catering department’s intranet page. The file contains all of the food items present on the patient menus with the 14 main allergens clearly identified. Ask a member of staff to print off a copy from the Catering intranet page.

  • Dietitians

    On admission to hospital the nursing team will measure your weight and height to complete a form called nutrition screening. Following this your weight will be checked regularly. If these processes highlight a problem with your weight or food intake then the nursing team may refer you to the dietitians for further advice. Dietitians advise on food, nutrition and help people who need special diets.

  • Visitors facilities

    There are several areas to purchase meals and snacks. All are non-smoking and have disabled access. Cafes are situated on the following sites:
    • St Nicholas Hospital – Café Nicholas
    • Walkergate Park – Café Tanni
    • Ferndene – Café Amelia
    • St George’s Park – Café George
    • Northgate Hospital – Café Andrew
    • Hopewood Park – Café Hope
    • Monkwearmouth Hospital – Café Bede
    • Carleton Clinic – Café Carleton

    Opening times are displayed outside of each café.

    Vending machines are located in various areas around all sites.

  • Comments

    We would like to hear what you think about Catering Services. Your comments will help us to improve the service we provide to you.

    If you want to comment on the Catering Services or make a complaint please ask the nurse to contact the Catering Department, St Nicholas Hospital on extension 57377. Catering staff will respond to your comments and will either give you a verbal response or write to you.

  • Information about content, other formats and version control

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this leaflet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, easy read, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre
    Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2021Copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/596/0721 July 2021 V6 Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2024