"Dietary requirements"

About: Box Hill Hospital Box Hill Hospital / Dietetics

(as a carer),

My father was admitted to Box Hill Hospital (Eastern Health) in VIC to have a procedure carried out.

My father was diagnosed (by the same hospital) roughly 6 years ago with Coeliac Disease and requires a gluten-free diet.

We filled in his ‘food menu’ card requesting a gluten free meal on the second night of his stay. He was presented with nothing more than a plate of salad for his dinner.

We asked for an actual meal and were told by kitchen staff to speak to the nurse.

We spoke to the nurse and were told to speak to kitchen staff.

In the end, my mother purchased a meal at the Zouki cafe downstairs in the hospital which yes, provides gluten-free options.

I find this absolutely astounding that it seems that the hospital not only doesn’t provide highly nutritional food (high sugar fruit juice was presented along with the salad) but doesn’t offer replacement meals for patients with allergies, dietary requirements, and diagnoses given to them by teams within the hospital!

Eastern Health, you provide great care in so many other ways - please get your act together with this!


Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health We are preparing to make a change

picture of David Plunkett

Dear Astounded

Thank you so much for sharing your feedback regarding your experience and that of your father who requires gluten-free meal options during his stay at Box Hill Hospital. I would like to apologise for what has occurred both with the obvious issues with communication but also for the limited meal option provided to your father.

Whilst I am not sure what has specifically happened with your experience, I wanted to let you know we do have a broader range of food options in addition to a healthy salad. Again I am sorry your father didn't receive this. We also have a range of low sugar juices available and I can only apologise these were not provided.

I will share your experience with the leaders within our food and dietetics services so they can review our current offerings, systems and process with the aim of learning from your experience so others don't have the same experience. In order to review specifically what has happened with your father, I would encourage you to contact the Patient Relations Advisors in the Eastern Health Centre for Patient Experience via email feedback@easternhealth.org.au or via phone on 1800 EASTERN.

I trust your father is recovering well from his surgery and returning to his normal activities.

Kind regards


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Update posted by Astounded (a carer)

Hi David,

Thank you very much for your swift response.

We have come to learn from staff that it takes 48 hours notice to the kitchen in order to receive a gluten-free meal. The feedback was that this was the reason my father did not receive an appropriate meal last night.

It seems this is the gap in service delivery and leaves patients such as my father without meals in their first 2 days of admission. I hope this is reviewed and the hospital creates a new practice standard.

Good news is he has recovered well and will be discharged today.

Thank you again for the follow-up.

Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health We are preparing to make a change

picture of David Plunkett

Dear Astounded

Thank you again for sharing this further information. This will really help me in particular to make sure we can make the necessary improvements to our systems to reduce the 48 hour timeframe.

So pleased to hear your father is recovering well and heading home!

Kind regards


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