The maternity centre came bottom of a poll after patients of 52 hospitals nationwide were asked what they thought about the quality of the food during their stay.
“The only issue I had with my stay was the quality of the food, which I would describe as inedible,” said one mother who gave birth at the Limerick hospital.
The hospital scored a satisfaction rating of 2.35 out of five stars (or 47%) on the irishhealth.com’s Rate My Hospital survey, which has asked 10,000 patients for their view of Irish hospitals.
Patients at the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street, Dublin, had a similarly bleak view of the food, placing the centre at 33 out of 52 on a satisfaction rating of 60%.
One new mother said: “I asked what kind of soup was on offer as I’m a vegetarian and I was told on various occasions ‘brown or green’.”
Yesterday, irishhealth.com publisher John Gibbons said two-fifths of the country’s hospitals were below par when rated by patients on the food they dished up.
“Irish hospitals score poorly in our ‘good food guide’,” he said.
“The results show 20 out of 52 major hospitals scored less than three out of five in terms of food quality and service.”
The top hospital in the country for food is Dublin’s St Luke’s Cancer Hospital in Rathgar, which got a 90% approval rating from patients — almost double the score Limerick got.
One patient praised the professionalism at St Luke’s, saying, “this went all the way up from the catering staff to nurses and above”.
Monaghan General Hospital was second with an approval rating of 80% while St John’s Hospital, Limerick was third with 79%.
Occupying the remaining slots in the top 10 were five Leinster hospitals and two other hospitals in Munster. No Connacht hospital was among the 10 best.
Languishing at the other end of the table along with the Limerick maternity hospital was Kerry General, which was second bottom on 50%.
Limerick Mid-Western Regional Hospital was joint third bottom with Dublin’s St Columcille’s Hospital in Loughlinstown. Both had 51% satisfaction ratings.
Also among the 10 worst hospitals for food were Galway’s University College Hospital and Merlin Park Regional Hospital.
Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda, Co Louth, was joint 43rd with Waterford Regional Hospital. Both had satisfaction ratings of just 53%.
One patient at Our Lady of Lourdes wrote: “I was weak as a kitten when I came out after 12 days as a result of not being able to eat the disgusting food they served up.”
A patient of Waterford Regional Hospital said: “The ward was unisex and dirty and the food was absolutely deplorable.”
Dublin’s St Vincent’s Hospital, which was 41st out of 52, was taken to task for advising people to follow healthy diets but serving up poor food.
“The [heart] consultants offer advice about diet while Vincent’s continues to serve fat-laden food,” said one patient.
No hospitals in or near Cork city, including the new maternity hospital, achieved a rating higher than 68%.
1. St Luke’s, Rathgar, Dublin: 90%
2. Monaghan General: 80%
3. St John’s Limerick: 79%
4. Mid-Western Regional Orthopaedic Limerick: 76%
5. Mallow General Cork: 76%
6. Cappagh National Orthopaedic Dublin: 74%
7. Rotunda Dublin: 73%
8. Lourdes Orthopaedic, Kilkenny: 73%
9. Temple Street Children’s University Dublin: 72%
10. Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan: 71%
43. University College Hospital, Galway: 53%
43. Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda: 53%
43. Waterford Regional: 53%
46. St James’s Dublin: 53%
47. Erinville, Cork (now shut): 52%
48. Merlin Park Regional Galway: 52%
49. Mid Western Regional, Limerick: 51%
50. St Columcille’s Loughlinstown Dublin: 51%
51. Kerry General: 50%
52. Mid-Western Regional Maternity, Limerick: 47%