Union members petition against hospital kitchen’s frozen meals threat

St Mary's Hospital, Isle of Wight

A petition has been launched to keep an Isle of Wight NHS kitchen on site after fears that healthcare bosses want to replace fresh food with frozen meals.

St Mary’s hospital on the Isle of Wight has a full kitchen preparing and serving healthy food throughout the hospital.

Fresh food is delivered to patients on the wards, and supplies the Full Circle restaurant, which is used by both visitors and staff.

But according to Unison, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust is currently deciding whether to replace freshly prepared food for patients with frozen ready meals and, at the same time, close Full Circle.

Nearly 500 people have now signed an online petition to stop the move happening while Unison claims patients, visitors and staff have been telling its representatives “how much they value the restaurant and the fresh food the kitchen provides”.

According to Isle of Wight radio, which reported on the story, St Mary’s Hospital was rated in the lowest 6% of all NHS sites for food services last year. Food procurement and catering practices, nutrition, menu, timings, portion size, menu and packaging were all compared to national guidelines.

It said the Isle of Wight NHS Trust says the hospital’s facilities, including its kitchen and dining room and the catering equipment, are 25-years-old and in need of investment, but that it has limited access to funds.

The Trust says it is considering a number of options, including freshly cooked and reheated frozen food, but insists it is committed to retaining a kitchen facility, and a restaurant facility for staff and visitors.

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