Meal order system is launched

New Year pharmacy times.
New Year pharmacy times.

Hospital staff have developed a system which means patients will never again be given the wrong meal.

Staff at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), a provider of mental health and disability services in the north east,h ave introduced a meal ordering system which is linked to their patient record system.

Tony Wealleans, catering manager at NTW, said: “I think we’ve all experienced when we’ve been in hospital receiving someone else’s meal or not getting what we’ve ordered, so by introducing this new system we can clearly identify what meal a patient has ordered so they receive exactly what they have requested.”

Two years ago the Trust used a paper based system and moved to an electronic version designed by their own IT department.

Now it has been taken one step further with the food ordering system now being linked to electronic patient records.

This has two advantages, firstly everyone gets exactly what they’ve ordered, but now as it is more difficult to over order, the new system will help reduce food waste, and therefore has reduced costs.

There is also a portion size indicator has also been developed to ensure the correct size portions are ordered.

Tony added “Our patients sometimes have a prolonged stay which can be significantly longer than in a general hospital, so we have an extensive four week menu rather than an average weekly rolling menu.

“We try hard to provide a wide range of choice to suit all age groups.

“For example we offer a choice of 52 main courses, 17 vegetables, ten varieties of potatoes, 24 salads, 42 puddings and 63 choices of sandwich.”