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Are these the worst hospital dinners ever served? Shock images show the dreary NHS meals that patients have complained about for decades

  • In Wales, one patient was served a ‘frankly inedible’ cheese and potato pie
  • Another was given a cold ‘chicken hot pot’ and dry pulled pork in Hertfordshire  
  • Read more: Hospitals serving up the worst food named and shamed in new table

A single jacket potato, one cold sausage smothered in BBQ sauce and a burnt chilli con carne.  

It’s no wonder NHS patients have complained for decades about the dreary dinners served up in hospitals.

Now, MailOnline readers have shared their own pictures of ‘disgusting’, unrecognisable and inedible dishes offered to them while needing treatment.

It comes after NHS data ranked every trust and private hospital provider based on their food offerings.

England’s worst-offending sites — located across Yorkshire and Cheshire — had an approval rate barely above 70 per cent. 

One patient currently being treated at a hospital in Hertfordshire was served a dinner of four small meatballs in tomato sauce and five new potatoes, on Thursday evening, April 13.  ‘The nursing staff say they’re embarrassed to serve this,’ they told MailOnline

Last month during the same hospital stay, the patient was given a ‘questionable’ chicken hot pot that was ‘not hot’, they told MailOnline. ‘The food here is appalling’, how long xanax to work they added

Earlier this month they were also served a dinner of three small new potatoes with three meatballs in a tomato sauce. ‘They don’t provide mains and sides that match,’ the patient queried. ‘Who has meatballs with new potato?’ 

The hospital in Hertfordshire also delivered a dinner, advertised as pork and apple sauce to the patient. Dry rice was served alongside ‘questionable’ pork rolled into a slice. No apple sauce or vegetables were provided. ‘You’re lucky if you get peas or sweetcorn’, they said 

Another meal offered to the patient earlier this month by staff at the same hospital included ‘disgusting’ pulled pork with ‘dry rice’. The pork was ‘full of water’, they said. ‘Food is consistently returned. Patients opt for jacket potato as it’s the most decent thing they can cook,’ they told MailOnline. However, for those having to undergo longer hospital stays, the lack of choice ‘gets so boring’, they said. ‘Thankfully my mum brings me food but I feel for those who have no visitors or money’

The patient was also served a ‘cold chicken casserole’ at the hospital in Hertfordshire. It was delivered with ‘a flapjack apparently’ (above), they said

One 86-year-old patient was offered a dinner of mashed potato, tinned spaghetti hoops and a single vegetarian sausage sliced into chunks last weekend at a hospital in south Wales. It was served in a takeaway container. The photo was shared by his daughter

Later during the weekend, the gentleman was served a 12 chips for dinner by the hospital in south Wales. ‘He counted 12 chips and when asked for vegetables [he was told] there wasn’t any. Very difficult and sad when nutrition goes hand in hand with recovery,’ his daughter said. ‘To receive distressing calls from my very elderly dad that he is “starving and has no energy”, due to being given 12 chips and nothing else for dinner was truly awful,’ she added

At another hospital in Cambridgeshire, one patient was served a single jacket potato for dinner during their stay in September 2022. When cut open, the potato was found to be mouldy

The same patient was later served a burnt chilli con carne for dinner. ‘I’m sure that the food in prisons is better than some of the meals served there’, they told MailOnline

The hospital in Cambridgeshire also offered a plate of broccoli and cauliflower in a cheese sauce for dinner on another occasion. ‘I have had numerous stays in the past few years, the food in dreadful,’ the patient told MailOnline. ‘The amount of food on the menu that is regularly unavailable is ridiculous’

Another patient was served a rotten jacket potato while undergoing treatment for appendicitis at a hospital in North Yorkshire in December 2020. Sally Teston said the potato ‘was black inside’. Staff were unable to replace it ‘until everyone else had been served their and I had to wait for what was left’, she added. While Covid restrictions remained in place during her hospital stay, ‘I had to get my mum to bring meals up to the hospital doors and I would go out to meet her as I was not allowed visitors,’ she said

In June 2022, another hospital in south Wales served up this concoction, after one reader underwent major surgery. ‘It was described as a cheese and potato pie’, they said. ‘Completely unappetizing and frankly inedible but the only veggie item on the menu. At a time where nourishment was needed it was another day without food for me’

In another case, one expectant mother was offered potatoes and cheese, after being admitted to be induced at a hospital in the south west of England in October 2021. Her friend and birthing partner shared the photo, taken in the maternity ward and wrote: ‘Who wouldn’t want a dish of potato, potato and cheese whilst they are in the maternity ward’

Earlier this year in March, one patient who was treated at a hospital in Essex for three days, was served a single slice of ‘cold’ white toast with ‘frozen’ butter for breakfast

She was later served a dry cheese sandwich for lunch. ‘The only sandwich they had was a cheese sandwich’, she said. The single slice of cheese was served between white bread with no butter

The hospital later offered the patient a measly portion of mashed potato and a single sausage in BBQ sauce for dinner. Both the potato and sausage were ‘cold’, she told MailOnline 

Earlier this year in March, Louise Avery was given a single slice of toast with butter for breakfast at another hospital in south Wales

Ms Avery was later served a dinner of mashed potato, beef and carrots with a yorkshire pudding. The dish from the same hospital was finished with a thick gravy

Another patient at a hospital in Essex was given a ‘healthy’ tuna sandwich for lunch in June 2022. It contained almost a third of their recommended daily salt allowance 

Read more: NHS hospitals serving up the worst food are named and shamed in new league table – so how does YOURS fare?

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