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Hospital food comes from Essex after trust shuts kitchen
HOSPITAL bosses have closed a kitchen which supplied food to the county’s mental health patients.
Instead, wards across the county are now supplied with pre-packaged food from a company based in Essex.
Staff working at the unit are being found other jobs within the hospital.
The Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Warneford and Littlemore mental institute, brought in the changes at the beginning of the month.
A member of staff called the Oxford Mail to say they were “up in arms” about the move.
The staff member, who did not want to be named, said: “I think whoever came up with this idea should be made to eat frozen food day in, day out, and see how they like it.”
The trust, formerly the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire mental health trust, said it had used an external supplier called Anglia Crown to supply some wards in Buckinghamshire.
After an internal service review the decision was taken to close the trust’s own kitchen and use the supplier for all wards from March 28.
A spokesman added: “As a result of the changes staff have been taken through a formal process, and we are now working with affected staff to look for alternative employment opportunities.
“We have also worked closely with colleagues from our Learning and Development Department to provide these staff with new skills in order to assist them to find alternative employment.”
Staff at Oxford University Hospitals Trust, which runs the John Radcliffe, Churchill, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, and the Horton Hospital in Banbury, also used to prepare food on site for patients in the hospital kitchens.
But for some time the hospital has used the ‘cook-chill’ system, provided by private contractor Carillion.
A trust spokesman said: “Over the last year as part of an internal service review which included consultation with both staff and patient groups the trust agreed that the meals provided by Anglia Crown offered us a consistent level of patient choice across all inpatient wards and provided us with assurance that all meals served met the Care Quality Commission standards in ‘Meeting Nutritional Needs’.”