Last chance to sign better Welsh NHS hospital food petition – especially for those with IBD, stomas and intolerances

better hospital food

There are just hours left to help me make put the case for better food standards in hospitals to the Welsh Government.

The petition on the Welsh Assembly website closes tomorrow morning and I need all of your help to get the maximum impact.

The petition is calling for better food standards for all.

But it also calls for action to make sure the right diets and choices are given for those with bowel conditions including Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, ostomy bags, and for those with allergies and special diets.

This includes vegetarians, vegans, lactose intolerant, gluten free and celiacs.

If you want to see the Welsh Government take action, look at standards and hopefully improve the food we get served on hospital wards please sign the petition.

I would love it if you call all share it and sign it – the more people who put their name to this the bigger impact it will have.

Please send it to people you know who may have IBD or special diets and have struggled with nutrition in hospital.

Here is the petition, please sign it and help my campaign.




Welsh nurse of the year – a humbling and positive look at the NHS at last

This week I attended an event which was like a breath of fresh air.

In the midst of a seemingly never-ending barrage of bad news stories about the Welsh NHS, some of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met gathered under one roof to celebrate the unswerving dedication of nurses.

Stories of incredible achievement, undying compassion and normal people going over and above the call of duty to keep the Welsh NHS afloat dominated the evening.

If any evidence was needed that nursing is still a caring profession Thursday night’s Royal College of Nursing (Wales) award ceremony, granted it in bucket loads.

To be honest it was stunning, and a welcome break from the never ending scandals and problems I seem to spend my days both reading and writing about.

There was little doubt (or disagreement) from anyone the profession is overworked and overstretched, but this pressure hasn’t stopped nurses up and down Wales going over and above to make a real difference to people’s lives.

But a few things were said about how damaging politics can be for the NHS – a number of people raised concerns about political meddling and point scoring, something which they believe can only get worse in the run up to the election.

Despite this the positivity of the evening, in the face of constant negativity, was overwhelming.

People let their hair down, talked to each other about incredible achievements, and enjoyed a glittering ceremony with incredible food (yes even for me with my weird dietary requirements).

The politicians who where there – Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb and Health Minister Mark Drakeford – spoke with pride about the achievements of the nurses and health professionals who’s dedication keeps the Welsh NHS alive and kicking.

And it was nice for me to share my experiences with the nurses, CEOs and health professionals – and to speak to those who are helping to save lives day in day out, and well thank them.

Welsh Sec Stephen Crabb speaks with pride about Wales’ nurses “you are the beating heart of the NHS”

A video posted by Rachel Flint (@rachelflintviews) on Nov 19, 2015 at 11:11am PST


Petition for better Welsh hospital food must now be looked at by Assembly #Crohns #IBD #ostomy

The Welsh Assembly will be looking at hospital food in Wales – as more than ten people have signed it.

I’m delighted, but to give it more weight I would love hundreds if not thousands of people to get involved and make sure our voice is not ignored.

Otherwise they could really dismiss it as my insane ramblings when I was starving and full of drugs.

I am hoping Crohn’s and Colitis UK, Ostomy Lifestyle, Campaign for Better Hospital Food (England), and allergy, vegan, vegetarian, lactose free, gluten free etc and health bloggers, campaigners and patients will get behind me.

Today I used my column in the Daily Post (in North Wales) to share my experiences with food in hospitals with my lactose intolerance, ulcerative colitis and having an ostomy bag.

Click here to read the column online:

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I am hoping to hand in the petition alongside a bundle of people’s own experiences to the Assembly Members on the steps of the Senedd next month.

To do that I need your help.

The petition runs until December 4. I would love for anyone who has ever eaten in a Welsh hospital (or had a relative or friend who has) and wants to see improvements to sign the petition – the more people who sign it the better.

I think this will push the Welsh Government to seriously look at standards – if it is just my experience it could be easily dismissed as a party pooper and groaning fussy idiot after all.

I also can’t rock up with one sheet of A4 – that would be pathetic. I want to take a lorry to lift the petition into the arms of the waiting politician.

Please sign the petition here if you want to see changes.

Here is the link if you want to share it

Also please share your pictures, stories, experiences of hospital food in Wales – good, bad or indifferent.

I want to build up a picture, or a report, of evidence I can submit with the petition.

The more I have the better.

I need your help to do that.

Please tweet me @TheStomaBagLady or @DailyPostRachel. email me or go to to my Facebook page and share your story

Alternatively fill in this form which will be sent to me.

Nursing is still a caring profession why else would you do it?

“Nursing used to be such a caring profession” – if I had a pound for every time I heard that this past week I’d have been discharged rich.

It’s a fact that no one likes being in hospital, you have to be a right weirdo if you do.

It’s also a fact that with the sleepless nights, lack of air, flourescent lighting, stuffiness and people pooping and throwing up all around you, you’re not going to feel well, and probably won’t get better until you are discharged and back in your own home.

Hospitals after all are weird places.

They are places where the sick are sent to be cured, or have their pain eased; places where relatives wait for bad and good news; places of joy and sorrow; places of hope and loss; and places of birth and death.

I have, in my main years as an on-off inmate, waited in hospital beds and seen all of these things (apart from birth). I have spent endless sleepless nights thinking – that’s really all you can do when you are in, wait and think – about what everything is about, what you still want to achieve, and what life is for.

I know, all very deep stuff for me.

On Monday I left hospital.

The night before I left there was a quiet chaos on the ward. Nurses running backwards and forwards, a family who had been quietly waiting for days racing towards a side room, the rush of feet hurrying to get there in time. A lady, someone’s mother, wife, loved one, died.

I hadn’t met this lady, I don’t know anything about her, who she was, what she had done, anything, but her death affected me.

More than that the reaction of the staff affected me.

During my five-day stay in the Heath Hospital the woman in the bed opposite me must have moaned on about the nursing staff so often their ears must have been bleeding.

She banged on and on about how bad they were at their jobs, how uncaring they were, and how it was better in the old days.

Now, I’ve moaned about nurses in the past, I’ve got pissed off and angry (especially when one threw my teddy away). I’ve got frustrated about being told what to do, and for all I know I also moaned out of frustration at the lack of action during my stay this past week.

I mostly moaned about the food, as i pretty much wasted away in the five days i was in. It might sound like a silly thing to grumble about not being fed (the NHS always struggles with my lactose intolerance, I may as well walk in and say I only eat caviar and sushi – I will probably do a blog on this at a later date as it is beyond my comprehension)

If I took my hunger out on the staff I apologise – I was wrong, as was the lady in the bed opposite.

The night the lady in the bed down the hall died, a nurse came to take the needle out of my arm, her eyes were red and she looked as if she had been crying.

Some might call that unprofessional, I call that being human and being caring.

The next day a student nurse, who told me he was a music journalist who realised he wanted to do something that made a difference to people’s lives, personally took me to the consultant and thrust me under their noses to make sure I was seen.

He went the extra mile to make sure I could be discharged after days of waiting around.

In every profession there are coasters, grumpy people, lazy bums and bad eggs. They exist in nursing, teaching, politics, finance, marketing, journalism, anything you can think of really – apart from perhaps lion keeping.

I’ve run into my fair share in the medical profession, but mostly what I’ve seen in my 15 years in and out of hospitals are caring, hardworking staff battling to do the best they can under immense pressure and with limited resources.

The problem is working in a hospital is like working in a goldfish bowl. As a patient we are fed up, ill, ratty, and bored, and so we are demanding and critical. When you are ill you don’t care that someone is stressed or stretched you just want them to take care of you (which is understandable), you can be quick to judge, and say horrible things induced by pain, frustration and exhaustion.

At the end of the day everyone has their off days, it’s just in most professions it doesn’t mean life and death.

I will be the first to hold my hand up and say I’ve said some things which no doubt a poor nurse has heard – all I can say is they are made of sterner stuff than me.

But at the end of the day nursing is an incredible profession. I take my hat off to the men and women who cope with us all, and put up with people screaming, scratching, hitting, crying, and being down right obnoxious when mostly they are good people simply trying to help.

So that lady (and me on occasions) is wrong – nursing is still for caring people, why would you put yourself through that if not?