Food and nutrition

We offer people a varied menu which includes a range of options for breakfast, a soup, sandwich and dessert lunch and a cooked meal in the evening. 

On some wards, such as those caring for elderly people, patients have expressed a preference for a main meal at lunchtime and a lighter one in the evening so we have put this in place.

Menus also have a “Food from around the world” section so patients can select Halal, Kosher, Asian or African and Caribbean dishes. Here is an example of our standard menu.   

All patients are offered seven drinks a day and unlimited water. Patients may also ask for additional drinks throughout the day. 

If you miss a meal as you are having a procedure please let a member of the nursing staff know as there are systems in place to provide you with either a hot meal or a snack box.

The company that provides the meals to us guarantees fresh and high quality food for our patients.

We currently spend an average of £5.96 per patient per day. This represents great value for money and compares with many other acute London hospitals, but we spend more to accommodate people who have special dietary needs.

Food choices and special dietary requirements

Our menus also have ‘diet codes’ to help our patients select the right choice for them. For instance our patients that require a soft, healthy, vegetarian meal can readily identify the suitable foods for them. 

We screen all of our patients which helps us to identify whether they need support with eating and drinking or have special dietary requirements and we are able to provide suitable menus for all patients on special diets.  A bespoke meal service for these patients is available. If you need a special diet it is important to let your nurse know as soon as you are admitted so appropriate meals can be arranged. The nursing staff will inform the catering staff and if required our dedicated dietitian will assess and compile a menu suitable to meet all special dietary and nutritional needs.

Our dietitians assess and treat patients at medium or high risk of malnutrition. For patients who need feeding through a tube (enteral feeding) the dietitians department provides the standard feeds whilst in the hospital. To contact the dietitians call 020 8401 3096.

Protected mealtimes

Croydon University Hospital operates a protected mealtime policy. This means we stop all non-urgent activity on wards during mealtimes so people can eat their meals without interruptions and nursing staff are available to offer help to those who need it.

All wards have protected mealtimes for a minimum of one hour. Speak with your ward sister or nurse if you wish to help feed your relative or friend during a mealtime and they will advise you of the times the food is served on their ward.

Red trays - when and why do we use them?

Patients at medium or high risk of malnutrition will receive their meals on a red tray which help nurses to easily identify who needs the most encouragement or assistance with eating.

The red tray also indicates the patient is on a food record chart which enables the nursing staff to monitor the quantities of food eaten.

If you feel you may benefit from a red tray or have a relative who requires red tray service then let a member of the nursing staff know and they will be happy to help you.

Feedback on food

We aim to meet all our patients’ nutritional needs but if you feel that you or relative or friend have not had their nutritional requirements met, please give us feedback to improve our service.

You can call the Catering Manager on 020 8401 3442.

We review our food service regularly to ensure we maintain quality and value for money. As the service is in-house we have greater flexibility to do this regularly and quickly deal with any concerns that may arise.