I’ve recently had to spend time at my local hospital for various reasons, thankfully none to do with me directly.
I have been amazed and so disappointed in the food options available to visitors!
This is an NHS hospital. We hear so much about how much obesity is costing them, yet their choices for healthy eating are where ?
Now, before I go into my full rant, I have to say, they do have a cafe there. The food on offer may be very good. Unfortunately, I am unable to confirm that as every time I’ve been there, it is closed.
I’m not talking late at night. No! I’ve been there after 3 pm! At this time your food choices are vending machines and Costa!
I avoid vending machines straight off as there is too much temptation. So that leaves Costa.
My heading to the blog says it all! Not only is it very expensive, but it is also not great for the health conscious!
On my last trip, I went to get my dad a sandwich. He had just had a procedure so hadn’t eaten since breakfast!
My dads in his early 70’s and likes what I would call ‘normal’ sandwiches! Not your wraps or panini!
So first of all, I’m battling through what is on the shelf. There are many different types of wraps, sandwiches and rolls etc. All with very different fillings. I eventually find a cheese and ham sandwich. That is the only thing on the whole display that isn’t some creative filling.
Now, come on Costa! £3.95 for a boring ham and cheese sandwich! Really! It didn’t even have any lettuce on it !
This is an NHS hospital. Do they really think that everyone who goes there can afford to spend that on something so basic ?
Of course I bought it for Dad, but I did feel very ripped off!
Then it was time to look for Mum and I! Mum had said she had had some lunch, but for various reasons, I’d not eaten since breakfast. I knew I wouldn’t be home until after 8 pm, so needed something !
I’m very open to most things. The only thing for me is that it has to be healthy . So now I’m checking calories and fat content.
Again, for an NHS location, the healthy options are extremely limited. Well I say limited, but if you are on Slimming World, they don’t exist !
Let me show you what I mean ! Below are some of their low calorie options which they advertise:-
Fruit & Oat Biscuit – 7 Syns
Ginger Biscuit – 8 Syns
Egg Salad Sandwich – 17 Syns
Ham & Egg Sandwich – 19.5 Syns
Salmon Salad Sandwich (with cream cheese) – 18.5 Syns
Roast Chicken Salad Sandwich – 20 Syns
Did that surprise you?
I ended up finding a Mediterranean chicken roll, which was the best of a bad lot. I shared it with Mum to help reduce the syns further !
What happened to salad bowls or pots of fruit? Even protein pots with boiled eggs would have been great! They do say they offer them on the Slimming World site, but I didn’t find 1 of them in cafe when I was in there. If they had, I think I would have preferred one of the following options:
Chicken Salad – 6 Syns
Tuna Nicoise Salad – 4.5 Syns
Green Feta & Sun Dried Tomato Salad – 10 Syns
Fruit Salad – Free
If I had gone to another hospital locally, I would have had a choice of Subway, M&S, their cafe, or even a fruit and veg stand !
Why doesn’t the NHS have a policy that there has to be healthy affordable foods on offer to visitors to their hospitals. It doesn’t have you be all salads, but it should give people a choice!
Costa have a captive audience at this hospital, so can also charge what they like ! There isn’t anywhere else in the direct vicinity you could go to. By the time you have bought a drink and sandwich, you won’t get much change out of £10. And that’s a takeaway ! Never mind the extra inches on the waistline!
Whilst that’s ok for some, what about pensioners, or people of low incomes. It’s bad enough paying the large Parking charges. For some a trip to hospital is now a very expensive experience!
It’s not always possible to pack a picnic before you go, like I did the first trip I took there!
So come on NHS. Think about what is being offered next time you tender for a franchise!