"No food or water available in A&E"

About: St James' Hospital St James' Hospital / Accident & Emergency

(as the patient),

I recently spent 30 hours in st James Hospital A & E. The medical care I received was excellent, in spite of the lack of resources & very difficult environment the staff have to work in. However there was no food available (except an expensive chocolate vending machine). Many people entering A & E will have been too sick to eat prior to arriving. Nutrition is essential to aid recovery as soon as you are able to eat. Most relatives assume the patient will be fed as soon as it is decided that they are to be admitted & go home at that point. I was in the fortunate position to be able to walk the 10 minutes down to the canteen and back on my 2nd day & had money to buy food. However many patients are immobile or are connected up to IV lines/ ECG's etc and cannot leave their trollies. One elderly lady stuck on her trolley begged me to get her some food. She said she had been there for 2 days with no food. Also there is no water offered to people stuck on trollies. Patients must be fit to interrupt the massively over worked nurses running around & ask them for water.

It's seems senseless to spend all that money on medical care if you are going to starve the critically ill of nutrition when they need it most. Can anything be done about this situation? I understand that the A&E/admissions ward is supposed to be temporary, but in reality people are often there for days. Could a care assistant/member of canteen staff be made available to offer water/food to those who are not required to fast? Or at least could information be posted up to inform people that their families must provide food until they get transferred to a ward? It's so distressing to see the elderly who can least afford to go without food, be neglected in this way.

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