Patients at Darlington Memorial Hospital are now able to choose
from an a la carte menu which is offering more quality and choice
when it comes to mealtimes and which has reduced waste for the
catering department by over 9%.
The a la carte menu was introduced at the hospital back in
November 2010 as a pilot scheme on the maternity wards. Working
with patients and staff on the wards, the catering department had
identified some issues around restricted times for ordering meals,
portion size and waste. The pilot scheme was so successful that it
is now being rolled out across all wards in the hospital.
Stuart Wray, Head of Catering said: "We were finding on the
maternity ward that it was such a fast turn over of patients that
the old system wasn't working as efficiently as we thought it
could. So working with patients and staff we designed a new a la
carte menu which includes a much more varied choice but which is
also designed around catering for the needs of a short stay
patient. Meals can be ordered without such a long lead in time and
there are standardised portions. We're delivering an excellent
standard of food and have received very positive feedback. Since
the new menu was introduced we also reduced our waste by 9%.
"Following the success of the pilot scheme we're now rolling out
the menu to all of the wards in the hospital, each ward will have
its own menu which has been tailored to suit the patients of that
ward area. We'll continue to review the menus and feedback on a
monthly basis to make sure that we can keep achieving these high
The catering department produces approximately 14,000 meals
every week with four chefs and a full kitchen staff managing the
food for Darlington Memorial Hospital, Bishop Auckland Hospital,
West Park Hospital which is part of Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS
Foundation Trust and the local Primary Care Trusts.
Over recent years, the catering department has won a number of
accolades for the service it provides with members of the team also
achieving individual recognition.
Published: 21 April 2011
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community