When our patients and their families visit Compton, they need to be assured that the quality of care, treatment and support is of the highest standard. Many families will worry about what their loved one is eating and wish to be assured that high quality, tasty food is available at all times. Most of our patients will have poor appetites and often – due to their illness and treatments – their ability to taste food has changed. However, it is vital that they eat to sustain their energy, as well as the desire to want to enjoy food. When Tom Keen, our Catering Services Manager arrived at Compton, he worked hard with the catering team to ensure the quality of the food and the service should match the level and accessibility of our care. The priority was to provide a high-quality choice of food that would be available as and when the patient requested it.
Tom inherited a standard three meals a day practice that is synonymous in most healthcare settings but felt that patients might be asleep or not desire food at these times. He also felt that choosing your meals for the following day was challenging, meant that many would not have the appetite when their chosen meal came, or it would clash with treatments and medication.
Tom’s answer was an all-day menu, this was created to ensure that patients could always access delicious food, no matter what time of day or night. The menu included classics, such as fish pie, as well as newer, international dishes. Each meal would be tailored towards the individual, making sure it fitted with their medication, suited their desired food textures and catered to their taste. The menu was then designed on these principles prioritising the five main elements:
Sweet – Savoury – Sour – Crunch – Soothe
All menu items are served using strict controlled portions, ensuring they cater for every appetite. Information gathered during admission – and then constant re-assessment by the hospitality team – ensures if a patient is undergoing treatment and unable to eat a sizable meal then this is adjusted to suit at the point of ordering. Each portion contains a complete meal, such as a chicken pie, which includes meat, vegetables, and potatoes, giving patients that required balance of taste and nutrition.
The new menu is all about giving the patient freedom of choice. Our mindset and ethos is;
“What you want , when you want it”
Having received favourable feedback on the portion size and the array of choices, we will continue to develop further options and enhancements to help create and endeavour to provide an exemplary food service that matches the complete needs of our patients here at Compton.