A PATIENT has made a renewed attack on the quality of meals dished up at Colchester General Hospital.

Graeme Hatton, 67, is scathing over the quality of food served to patients in the wards.

He has to make regular trips to the hospital and often eats there.

One of his main criticisms is over the service provided.

He claims patients don’t always get a choice of food.

Mr Hatton, of Green Way, Colne Engaine, said: “I know it’s a difficult task, but you used to choose from a menu and they’d make enough for the ward but now it’s outsourced to Severals Industrial Estate and you’re told what’s available and it’s sent up.

“There wasn’t enough to go around and I was left with a choice of fish, which I don’t like, or mash and gravy.

“At the moment, they give you what they’ve got and you have no choice in the matter.”

Mr Hatton first highlighted the quality of meals at the hospital last year.

He said: “It’s not to say the food is always bad, because it isn’t, but when it is bad it’s disgraceful.

“They have what I’d say is a five-litre waste bucket and the last I checked it was three quarters full.

“The food waste is appalling and they aren’t eating it because frankly it’s not very nice and they’re fed stuff they haven’t asked for.”

Mr Hatton claims the food is so bad that some patients go home suffering from malnutrition.

“Prisoners get fed better than patients now,” he said.

“This has got to stop.

“Some meals I would not feed to my dogs.

Mr Hatton also criticised hospital trust boss Nick Hulme for outsourcing catering at the hospital.

He said: “The overall wellbeing of a patient encompasses everything, but apparently food isn’t a concern for Nick Hulme.

“He only pushed the problem further down his chain for some poor soul to deal with.

“I understand it was he who outsourced the supply to a company on a local industrial estate.

“Where does the buck stop?

Colchester Hospital head of facilities Fiona Sparrow said: “We have previously worked with Mr Hatton after he raised concerns about patient meals at Colchester Hospital and we’re grateful for his recent feedback.

“Since his last stay we have made changes to our menu, which include some of his suggestions, and the menus will be reprinted in due course.

“When patients have specific dietary requirements or requests for what they would like to eat while they are in hospital, we work in conjunction with the patients and ward staff.

“We also take advice from our dietetic team who approve all the menus offered to patients and make sure the nutritional content of the food we serve is compliant with the British Dietetic Association guidelines.”