“What a great start to the New Year! Cost cutting will, without fanfare, remove freshly-cooked food from the wards and take away the opportunity for patients, staff and relatives to buy a hot meal at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich by shutting the canteen this month. It is being ‘replaced’ by ‘airline meals’ and a ‘rest area’ with a microwave and a vending machine. This will not provide the opportunity to buy a hot meal at all – vital when tired staff are working long hours or double shifts on the wards. There are a lot of people on the Hellesdon site – and, now, no decent food. It isn’t exactly in the centre of Norwich, either.
Service users and relatives used to be able to to engage in a fantastically inclusive, confidence-building, social activity, using the restaurant alongside staff, relatives and members of the public. And patients, some of them detained against their will, perhaps for months, will go from food freshly prepared on site to ready meals. The lack of consultation and opportunity to propose a viable business plan to maintain this important resource demonstrates that the morale and welfare of service users, relatives and staff is a very low priority for the NSFT Board. One of the Trust’s frequently promoted ‘five ways to well being’ is to be active and eat well. Slim chance of that in the world of the new improved radical redesign.”