Concerns over ‘poor’ food hygiene and safety in Doncaster Royal Infirmary ward kitchens

Concerns have been raised over ‘poor’ food hygiene in the ward kitchens at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Monday, 6th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 13th January 2020, 11:19 am

Issues were raised by inspectors from Doncaster Council who carried out checks in the venue, on Armthorpe Road, Wheatley, in November.

Kitchens on wards were given a two star rating, which means improvements are necessary. Ratings range from zero to five stars.

The kitchens given the ‘poor’ rating are small kitchen areas on the wards where drinks and food can be prepared.

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Ambulances parked outside Doncaster Royal Infirmary's emergency department

The main hospital kitchens where the main staff and patient meals are prepared are outsourced to the firm private catering firm Sodexo. Those main kitchens were rated separately in March 2018 as very good, and awarded five stars.

The rating for the smaller, ward kitchens, was subdivided into ‘poor’ for food hygiene and safety, and ‘good’ for structural compliance. Confidence in management was rated as ‘some’.

The food hygiene and safety category represents procedures including food handling practices and procedures, and temperature control. The council’s scores on the doors food hygiene website states that a ‘poor’ rating means some major non-compliance with statutory obligations with more effort required to prevent a fall in standards.

Bosses at the hospital say they are now bringing in new training and controls to turn the situation around.

The A&E department at Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Dr Kirsty Edmondson-Jones, director of estates and facilities at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “Whilst our main kitchens at DRI which are used to prepare patient meals and supply our retail catering outlets were awarded five stars for hygiene, a handful of small kitchenettes in other areas of the trust were identified as having some areas needing improvement.

“As a result of this rating, we have undertaken an audit of every ward kitchen within the trust and we are providing additional training to all trust staff to ensure that monitoring records are completed in line with trust policy. Additional management controls are also planned to give assurance that these records are maintained.”

Andrew Goodall, chief executive at Doncaster healthwatch, expressed concern over the rating, describing the score as disappointing.

“Healthwatch Doncaster are interested in all aspects of care and support that affect patient experience. We encourage everyone to share their stories and experiences of care and support at Doncaster Royal Infirmary so that examples of good practice can be identified and that areas for improvement can be highlighted.

“Log on to www.healthwatchdoncaster.org.uk/whatsyourstory to #SpeakUp in 2020 and tell us about the care that you have received.”