Top-notch meal service for patients

Westmead Hospital food service assistants Sohaila Yari and Janine Summers serve lunch to patient Nicholas Hoschke.

The traditional views of hospital food have been turned around with new tasty meals and speedy, personalised service at Westmead Hospital.

Patients can now select from a new range of dishes from a pictorial menu, and their order will be taken by food and dietetic staff using a mobile device at the patient’s bedside.

The improved service is an initiative of Health Share NSW called My Food Choice.

My Food Choice gives patients a choice of more than 18 hot meals for lunch and dinner.

Patients can choose from traditional roast dinners, curries, Asian dishes, and tasty new options like salmon fillet or spinach and ricotta ravioli.

The hospital also offers patients a halal menu with a range of tasty specialty meals, like lamb keftas in tomato sauce with rice and vegetables. This service is also available at Auburn Hospital.

Orders are now taken just before meal time, so that patients can choose a meal which match what they eat with how they feel.

Westmead Hospital corporate services manager Mathivanan Sakthivel said food services staff are spending more time on the wards, offering the personalised service at the bedside and answering any questions patients have about the dishes or ingredients as part of the roll out.

“We want meal time to be a highlight of each patient’s stay with warm interaction from our staff and tasty meals that promote good nutrition,” Mr Sakthivel said.

“We also offer lighter choices, like a freshly prepared salad or sandwich.

“The new system is designed with the patient at its heart.”

Food services staff will also use their mobile devices to collect data on the amount of food each patient consumes, which is provided to dietitians on a secure, interactive dashboard to help them manage their patients’ care.

Patients on minced and puree diets receive a dedicated pictorial menu, while those on special therapeutic diets are cared for with meals from the existing menu that are tailored to their requirements.

All meals meet mandatory NSW Health nutrition standards and strict requirements on quality and safety.

Westmead Hospital food service assistant Janine Summers with Nicholas Hoschke.