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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Kitchen closure petition launched after Maryport hospital apple ban

A man who claims he was stopped from taking fresh apples to Maryport’s cottage hospital has launched a petition against plans to close its kitchen.

Michael Thompson, 67, of Maple Close, has delivered petition forms to 35 locations around Maryport.

He is urging people to oppose the planned closure of the hospital kitchen and the possible loss of two jobs.

However, Cumbria NHS Partnership recently said that it had halted its plan to close hospital kitchens to enable further public consultation to take place. It followed earlier criticism of its idea to introduce pre-cooked ready meals instead.

Mr Thompson also criticised new regulations, which he described as “health and safety gone mad”.

He claimed: “I have one of the best apple trees in Maryport and used to take apples down to the hospital kitchen for patients.

“I am not allowed to do that any more in the same way as the League of Friends are not allowed to take meat they have bought from a respectable butcher.”

Mr Thompson said a proposal to replace fresh food with pre-cooked meals was illogical.

He said that nationally renowned chef James Martin has been campaigning for fresh, locally sourced food in hospitals as better for patients and more economical.

He said: “When you see what can be done as cheaply as these pre-prepared foods it is hard to understand why the powers-that-be are even considering closing the kitchen.”

The NHS previously said that food cannot be given to the hospital kitchen for patients because of health regulations.

A spokeswoman said the partnership would not be commenting further on these issues.

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