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Retired NHS doctor says he lost more than TWO STONE as a patient in hospitals which served ‘terrible’ food ‘as tough as body armour’


A retired NHS doctor has revealed that he lost more than two stones as a patient in hospitals after being served ‘terrible’ food – including bread ‘so tough it could be used as body armour’.

Dr Colin Barron, was being treated for a heart attack when he was subjected to unappetising meals including vegetable curry which he claimed it consisted of a ‘bit of cauliflower floating in a thin sauce’.

As regular eggs cannot be included in hospital dishes because of salmonella risks, ‘pasteurised eggs’ are used instead – which he said taste ‘awful’.

The 67-year-old spoke out about his experiences after the Mail revealed a growing number of complaints from patients about the quality of food in facilities such as the flagship Queen ­Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow.

The former ophthalmologist, who lives in Dunblane, Perthshire, said nutritious food in hospital is ‘very important’ to maintain patients’ strength and help them recover more quickly.

After his recent stomach-churning experience he said it opened his eyes to serious shortcomings – although he stressed the standard of care he received was high.

Dr Colin Barron described the food he was served in hospital while being treated for a heart attack as 'terrible'

Dr Colin Barron described the food he was served in hospital while being treated for a heart attack as ‘terrible’

Dr Barron spent a total of around four months in two hospitals – Forth Valley Royal Hospital in ­Larbert, Stirlingshire, and Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank. 

He said: ‘The food at both ­hospitals was terrible and I lost 2.5st because the food was so bad.

‘On a number of occasions, I asked the staff to make me a couple of slices of toast because I would not eat the food offered.

‘Bread always tasted stale and any sandwiches offered lacked additions like mayonnaise and mustard which would have improved the taste – I don’t even think there was butter or margarine. 

‘For example, when I was given a hot dog it was just a stale finger roll with a poor quality sausage in it – no butter, no onions, no mustard and no ketchup.’

On another occasion, he was given a curry which ‘consisted of a bit of cauliflower floating in a thin curry sauce, accompanied by a tiny naan bread which was so tough it could be used as body armour’.

Dr Barron said: ‘I know that no real eggs are allowed because they ­consider them a health risk and ‘pasteurised eggs’ are used instead, which taste awful.’

A sausage casserole served to a patient recently at Monklands Hospital

A sausage casserole served to a patient recently at Monklands Hospital

This discoloured turkey meal was served up at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow

This discoloured turkey meal was served up at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow

Some of the unappetising food being subjected to patients in Scotland¿s hospitals included ¿congealed mac and cheese¿ with ¿cold soggy chips¿

Some of the unappetising food being subjected to patients in Scotland’s hospitals included ‘congealed mac and cheese’ with ‘cold soggy chips’

Scrambled eggs, sweetcorn and potato was served at the Western General in Edinburgh

Scrambled eggs, sweetcorn and potato was served at the Western General in Edinburgh

Earlier this week dietician Dr ­Carrie Ruxton stated that the poor quality meals in hospital could lead to a longer stay at a time when the NHS is desperate to free up beds.

Scottish Tory health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane said: ‘The standard of food being served up to patients is beyond abysmal.’

Health bosses were criticised this week after a picture of an unappetising turkey dinner served to a patient while he was in the QEUH was posted online. NHS Greater ­Glasgow and Clyde said it had ‘fallen below the ­standards’.

The post prompted an outpouring of similar complaints. Yesterday, a reader sent in a photograph of a meal which they assumed was sausage casserole, served at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie, Lanarkshire.

NHS Golden Jubilee said: ‘We do offer pre-packed sandwiches, which are delivered fresh daily by our ­supplier, and use pasteurised eggs in line with government protocol.

‘We would like to apologise that this individual’s experience did not meet our high standards during their time at NHS Golden Jubilee.’

NHS Forth Valley said: ‘All of the menus are designed to meet national nutritional standards to ensure patients receive balanced, healthy meals.’

Commenting on the sausage ­casserole at Monklands Hospital, an NHS Lanarkshire spokesman said: ‘We apologise that in this instance the catering service fell below the high standards expected.’

Email your pictures to hospitalmeals@dailymail.co.uk 



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