Thursday, 3 March 2011

Bet You Can't Eat This!

No such word as can't”, my Nan would say whenever I doubted myself or refused to help when asked. Can't as a word did not exist. My sentence recited with cannot instead. Using its full form an insolence, not absorbing the lesson that had been set. Now I think differently, can't a phrase stopping us in our tracks – from living, being, doing... Any state ending with ing. Can't, the enemy of change. A prejudice to common sense.

This unwilling attitude clearly read in the managerial staff of the NHS. Forced to yield their position, reverse psychology their new mission. Bribing patients to eat their food, can't reverted to can do! Patients refusing to take the bait, instead question the quality of food on their plate. Heston's Marvellous Medicine having more success, with snot shakes and fried worm bread. Is this the solution to our troubles? HMM, food made fun... I'm not so sure it was the answer I'd been looking for.

Menu fatigue, a chief complaint. Cook-chilled food, a pet hate. Are patients right to kick up a fuss? Free processed grub snubbed on a ward, yet wolfed down at home as reward. Hospitals are not hotels. We get what we pay for, not contributing to our health care needs as other countries do. This is only the part-truth, a reflection of our times. Yes, poor food hinders your recovery, but the choices we make outside can also lead to illness. The NHS is not at fault, the community to blame. Our whole concept of food demanding change. Fresh produce replacing our quick, convenient pursuit. Benefits rolled out for all to learn.

The continuity of care is what we should be focused on – treatment and recovery, to end of life compassion. Food, an indispensable requirement. Every group has their needs - like learning the ABC. Adults, children, elderly, even vegetarians too! Being nourished important for the body to repair. All vulnerable if not given the right proportion from the pyramid of foods. Some hospitals need kitchens. Others to cater primarily for the patients, and not the staff canteen. Fat cats fat enough if you ask me. Providing kitchens can be done, fresh ingredients on a budget. No more heater uppers please, just skilled cooks having fun.

NHS to again take ownership of this fundamental position. Providing an ethos promoting wellness, not the illness you envision. With high standards across the board and famous oath now restored: “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”. Every hospital requiring its very own kitchen-trained physician!