James Martin is a star

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Having watched the BBC1’s “Operation Hospital Food with James Martin” this week I feel compelled to thank James Martin for his sheer perseverance and humour in bringing a long awaited change to the previously appalling standard of food at Scarborough Hospital.

During my three surgical admissions to the hospital I refused to eat the food, which on more than one occasion looked as though someone had just vomited on the plate and had my own brought in, otherwise I would have gone hungry.

This programme showed that I wasn’t alone and the waste of food was nothing short of criminal.

However, I have to say that it is amazing that the staff can even manage to provide sufficient meals in the antiquated kitchen, how the hospital’s management can justify ignoring the need to modernise the kitchen over more than 20 years beggars belief.

As James said, patients need good, freshly cooked “comfort” food to hasten their recovery, surely this is enough reason for the powers that be to spend some money on this essential part of the hospital?

But it needs doing now, not when the Trust eventually decides too late that it is a priority, and James’s hard work in revitalising the catering staff is slowly dying through lack on investment in the kitchen.

The residents of the borough depend on the hospital, they are generous to a fault when it comes to raising funds for equipment for the wards so my suggestion is that the League of Hospital Friends works with other local charities such as the Lions, Rotary Clubs and Masons to kickstart a campaign to raise enough money to buy the much needed catering equipment for a facility which is used by so many of the borough’s residents.

May I suggest that if everyone in the borough gave £1 each, then using the 2001 census figures that would raise £106,243.

Surely that isn’t too much to ask to ensure that when or if the resident becomes a patient in the hospital they know that the food they will have is tasty, home cooked and appetising and they will eat it, instead of it being pulverised into the waste system.

James Martin, not only are you a brilliant chef, you are a hero, I can’t think of anyone else who would take on such a task, achieve so much, and still come out of it smiling.

Let’s hope that your inspiring work at Scarborough Hospital, viewed throughout the whole of the country, not only benefits our own area, but spurs on well known chefs in other parts of the country to emulate your ground-breaking work in their own local hospitals.

To echo Pat Bell’s words, James - “You’re a star”

Yours faithfully

Viv Wright, Helredale Road, Whitby by email