Monday, June 30, 2008

Campaigning for healthy, tasty hospital food

Is hospital food crappy? Does it have to be? Bernard von Schulmann, fresh from his son's recent birth, says it is and it shouldn't be. He's started a blog to press for better tasting, healthier food and more choice in B.C. hospitals.


DL said...

I spent a couple of days in Vic. General in early April. My operation was done between 1 and 2:30Pm so had fasted since the evening before. In the ward by around three, No dinner. No breakfast the next morning till around 10:30 after I brought it to the nurses attention and shortly after it showed up. Nothing to write home about for sure. But I was quite hungry by then. Lunch and dinner showed up and was a bit cold. Next morning's breakfast had what was called Oatmeal but I never saw oatmeal like that before. I can see why patients are seen in the food line up at the snack bar downstairs. I went home shorly after the noon meal which again was passable. The sandwich I bought on the way out the door was the best thing I had to eat in the place. The nursing staff shouldn't have to chase the meal folks nor the cleaning folks but that's the reality in BC hospitals, from what limited time I spent as a guest of Gordo and Company. The ward had four people in it and nobody was that pleased with the privatised food supply. All other staff were great. I found it weird to see the nurse mopping the bathroom when a cleaning staff is employed to do that sort of work.

Anonymous said...

By-pass surgery saved my life and the Liberals tried to kill me off with rotten food and a filthy room. The food was inedible. The toilet obscene. When other patients family were bringing in Tim Horton and Macdonalds one just has to know something is not right. After the cleanliness of the ICU the ward was a pigsty. How the hell can anyone justify cooking eggs in Quebec and flying them out to BC for re-warming for hospital food is beyond me. The catering and cleaning staff said that they were new to the job and things would get better. It hasn't because the contractors can't keep the staff long enough to learn how to do the jobs properly. I will never even consider voting for Gordon Campbell "liberals" ever. Anyone except that 'LIAR' in the Premier's chair. He is a disgrace.

Bernard von Schulmann said...

Please send me your stories, ideas, pictures or anything you think is relevant.

Bernard von Schulmann

Anonymous said...

It's time to bring in some competent management for the health care system. The "privatization" of services didn't address the larger problem of poor management: why were there no standards for cleaning services in the hospital? Why is the food so bad? Managements' role is to set goals and metrics, then ensure that they're met. The Capital Health Authority in Edmonton did a very smart thing several years ago: instead of privatizing cleaning services at one of their long-term care centres, they brought in a consultant for major hotel chains to audit their procedures. The result was a detailed breakdown on what needed to be done to achieve an acceptable level of cleanliness. This translated into a list of tasks, an estimate of time & resources needed to do the work, and recommendations on how to check to see that the job was being done properly. This was critical to meeting goals, because you haven't got a hope of fixing a problem until you can measure the effects of changes. An incentive program was also introduced for staff, providing a list of requirements that had to be met, a bonus for those who exceeded their requirements, and a means of implementing corrective action for those who didn't do a proper job. The result was better cleaning services without contracting out, delivered at a better cost! That's what health care management should be like. Here, the best that can be said for our system is that we have administrators who keep the existing system running. Why should hospital food be bad? Why not allow for the sale of premium food choices in the hospital (get The Dish on Davie Street to deliver to St. Paul's, for example.)

BC Mary said...

I did leave a comment yesterday (maybe the day before yesterday) but it's nowhere to be seen.

I just wonder if it was rejected because I gave high praise to the Public medical system. I described the week I had spent in Toronto General Hospital and the marvelous care -- plus delicious, nutritious, healthy meals.

As Toronto General is a teaching hospital and part of the University of Toronto hospital network, I had suggested they might have good information to share with B.C.

At very least, they could show that it's possible to serve good food and provide good care. Sometimes, when the naysayers get going, you start to wonder.