A PATIENT welfare group has appealed for Oxfordshire people’s real life accounts of hospital food.

It comes after an Oxford hospital featured in a television exposé about the standards of NHS food on Monday evening.

Now Patient Voice, an independent Oxfordshire patient group, wants to hear about your experiences of food on the wards and whether people are getting help to feed themselves.

The Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre (NOC), in Headington, was featured on the Channel 4 Dispatches show in a special report by freelance journalist Mark Sparrow.

Mr Sparrow spent 10 weeks in the hospital after contracting an infection in his leg.

He described the care at the hospital as fabulous, but said the food served at the NOC looked and tasted so bad he set up a blog and began to record his experiences.

At one point the blog was receiving 26,000 hits a day from people all over the world.

Mr Sparrow said: “I am so grateful to the NOC for what they have done for me.

“But I could not ignore the issue. A lot of people have said to me ‘what are you moaning for, it is free’. I think that is crucial. This reduces the standards patients feel they should expect in hospital, and that is a problem.”

Last night the NOC said the documentary was filmed during 2009 and since then it had only received four complaints about its food.

Rachel Mellor, Head of Nursing at the NOC, said: “We are sorry to hear that Mr Sparrow’s experience of hospital food during his time as a patient did not meet his expectations.

“We recognise that patients with extended stays in hospital, as in Mr Sparrow’s case, may result in menu ‘fatigue’.

“During his stay at the hospital between September and October 2009, Mr Sparrow was provided with a variety of meal options in addition to the daily menu choices.

“Our records show that he received regular visits from catering staff to ensure his needs were met.

A spokesman said an independent assessment by the Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) gave an ‘excellent’ rating following a spot check on food served to patients on NOC wards.

Meanwhile, Patient Voice, has appealed for people to fill in a questionnaire about their experiences of hospital food.

The group was commissioned to carry out the survey by Oxfordshire LINk, Local Involvement Network, after concerns were raised about the temperature, presentation and taste of food at hospitals such as the John Radcliffe, Churchill, Horton, and the NOC.

Jacquie Pearce-Gervis, chairman of Oxford Patient Voice, said: “We are particularly interested in whether people are getting enough help to finish their food and whether the right questions are being asked of the patient if they seem to have barely touched their meal.”

If you would like to voice your experience of hospital food, request a questionnaire.

Call 01993 862855 or email oxfordshirelink@makesachange.org.uk

Do you have a story to tell about standards of hospital food? Call the newsdesk on 01865 425500.