4.20pm is 'too early for dinner' - patients
Patients complained to hospital food inspectors that having to eat their evening meal at 4.20pm was too early, a new report has revealed.
The patients aired their grievance during an unannounced food inspection of Nenagh Hospital in Co Tipperary by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) in September.
The inspectors said there should be four hours or more between the end of one meal and the beginning of the next, but the hospital was not adhering to this. They had finished their midday meal at 1.20pm.
The Hiqa representatives said the hospital routinely screened patients for their risk of malnutrition within 24 hours of admission and patients were re-screened weekly, in line with national guidelines.
Most patients were satisfied and complimentary about the choice, taste and temperature of the food and drinks available.
There was a good variety of choice for patients on standard, therapeutic and texture-modified diets.
During an unannounced inspection of Our Lady's Hospital, Navan, Co Meath, in September, inspectors found that patients were being routinely screened for malnutrition on admission to the hospital.
The hospital had carried out some audits on aspects of nutrition and hydration care - but it had not audited the nutrient content and portion sizes of meals in line with national guidelines.
Inspectors found the hospital had also not engaged with patients to get their views of nutritional and hydration care and the hospital food service.
An unannounced inspection of Portiuncula University Hospital in Co Galway found that although it introduced screening for all patients to identify those at risk of malnutrition, it was not always carried out within 24 hours of admission.
Weekly screening was also always conducted in line with hospital policy.
Patients were offered a choice of meals, and the majority were satisfied with the quality of the food offered.
It also found that patients who needed assistance got it.