Your stay in hospital

Hospital meals

For patients staying overnight and longer, we provide a wide range of catering services to suit your needs. Our menus have been designed to offer a selection of nutritional meals which cater for all dietary needs. Mealtimes on the wards are protected which means all non-urgent clinical tasks stop for a period of time so that patients can eat their meals in peace, with support if they need it, without being interrupted. 

Patients are served three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and supper). Snacks are also provided in between your meals and a choice of hot and cold drinks are served throughout the day.

Breakfast is served on your ward by the ward host, hostess or nurse.

Lunch and supper meals are steam cooked using microwaves which are located in ward kitchens. 

The service includes ward hostesses who are fully trained in all aspects of food hygiene standards.

Our specialised diet kitchen continues to cater for patients with specific medical dietary requirements such as food allergies. 

Your meals

  • Breakfast - a selection of cereals, fruit juice, yoghurts, porridge and fresh fruit, tea or coffee and fruit juice

  • Lunch - a main meal, a pudding and tea, coffee or fruit juice

  • Supper - a selection of freshly made sandwiches, soups ,puddings and tea or coffee.

Browse our menus

Further information

There are several choices, including vegetarian options, 'soft foods' for patients who can find food difficult to chew, purée, gluten free, high energy choices and a menu for renal patients. Asian Halal, Vegan and Kosher meals are all available on request. 

There are also three snack rounds per day which consist of a choice of fruit, biscuits, cakes, crisps, chocolate. Patients are offered hot drinks throughout the day, which include tea, coffee, chocolate and fruit teas. Water is available at the bedside at all times.
Please note: If the main hot meal at lunchtime is missed because a patient is off the ward or feels unwell, they can have their hot meal later in the day if they wish.

If you have any special dietary requirements or if you don't like the menu choices, please let your ward housekeeper or member of the ward team know and they will speak to a chef from the catering team.

Red trays, red mats and red lidded jugs

Red Mats / Red trays are available in all areas to visually highlight to staff the patient needs assistance and/or monitoring at mealtimes. 

The Red Lid System is a red lid placed on the patient’s water jug and/or red cups/glasses to visually highlight to staff that a patient needs assistance and/or monitoring with hydration at all times. 

  • Patients who have a MUST score of 2 or more will need a Red Mat/ Red Tray and/or Red Lid 

  • All patients who are having a record of intake recorded on a food chart or fluid chart will use the Red Mats and /or Red Tray and/or Red Lid System

  • The principle of the Red Tray / Red Mat and Red Lid System will be established within the ward routine and structured day

  • The principles of the Red Tray / Red Mat and Red Lid System is provided in local induction training for all staff

  • Patients and their relatives must be made aware of the Red Tray and Red Lid System by ward staff

  • Serco staff will not remove Red Trays from patients without liaising with the nursing staff first

  • Serco staff will not remove Red Lid drinking device from patients without liaising with the nursing staff first.

If you have any worries or concerns about this, then please speak to the nurse in charge.