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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Maryport welcomes pause in hospital ready meals plans

Plans to pause the roll-out of ready meals in community hospitals have been welcomed by Maryport residents.

DELIGHTED: Pat O’Shea

Maryport cottage hospital was one of four in the county earmarked for the meals, despite local opposition.

The hospital’s kitchen would have closed and meals brought in to be heated up.

But Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said this week it was putting the scheme on hold to enable bosses to find out more about what people think of them.

Pat O’Shea, of Maryport League of Friends, said: “It’s great that the partnership is listening to the concerns of the people of the area.”

Sarah Cousins, Maryport Health Services practice manager, said: “I am delighted that the trust has taken on board the concerns expressed and are doing a broader public consultation.”

The ready meals have already been introduced in hospitals at Cockermouth and Workington. Maryport and Keswick hospitals were due to get them soon.

Michael Smillie, of the trust, said they wanted to work with communities to address any concerns.

They would offer tasting sessions for people to try the  meals  for themselves.

Mr Smillie said that where the ready meals had been introduced they were being accepted by patients.

Maryport mayor Carol Tindall said: “It may be true that the meals taste fine but they are no substitute for freshly cooked food and there is not the flexibility to give people who are ill the choices they would like, as is the case in Maryport.”

The frozen ready meals are made by a specialist company called Apetito, which provides nutritionally balanced food to hospitals and care homes.

They are frozen straight from cooking before being heated up on site and served on china plates.

The trust believes the scheme is better for patients as they get more choice and small hospitals can easily cater for all kinds of dietary requirements.

Have your say

Ready meals to me = junk food! cheap alternatives cannot match freshly prepared food.

Posted by Andrew on 6 July 2014 at 18:47

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