A cash-strapped hospital is planning to introduce a separate Halal kitchen to cater for Islamic patients and staff.
Bosses at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust proposed the move after coming under fire for not ensuring Halal meals were up to standard in one of their hospitals.
Chief executive Toby Lewis said a ‘lot of work’ had been done at Sandwell Hospital with local suppliers to improve meals.
But in a further step hospital chiefs are proposing to establish a new kitchen specifically to prepare Halal meals.
Former patients have said the move, which comes less than a year after 450 jobs were axed, is a ‘waste of funds’.
Sandwell Hospital, West Midlands, is proposing to introduce a separate Halal kitchen to cater for Islamic patients and staff
The trust said the cost of implementing a separate kitchen has not been worked out yet as plans are in the early stages.
Loraine Yarnold, 50, saw her mum Caroline Fellows pass away after 10 days in Sandwell Hospital in 2014.
She said she thinks the hospital should be focused on improving patient care.
She claims her mum was poorly cared for, and is still demanding answers as to how she died.
Ms Yarnold said: ‘The care my mum received was horrific.
‘One day when I went in she had bruises all over her. They said she fell out of bed, but that didn’t make any sense because she could hardly move.
‘I ended up leaving a camera to record what was going on. It was shocking.
‘Total waste of funds’: Louise Yarnold (pictured left) slammed the decision for a second kitchen as a waste of money and said her mother Caroline Fellows (right) was badly looked after
Rest in peace: Caroline Fellows (pictured) passed away after ten days in Sandwell Hospital last year
What is Halal?
Halal means permitted or lawful for Muslim adherents.
Halal foods that are allowed to be eaten according to Islamic Sharia law.
These foods need to be properly prepared by specific processes, including ‘halal slaughter’
To be halal certified the animal must be facing Mecca, have its throat cut while still alive and then ritually sacrificed by a Muslim who recites a prayer dedicating the slaughter to Allah.
Foods that are haram (forbidden) in Islam include (but are not exclusive to) pork-based products, alcohol, blood and carniverous animals.
The 50 year old said: ‘This kitchen would just be a diversion of resources they should not be doing. I don’t agree with it at all.
‘It’s a total waste of funds, when they could be spending it on care.
She added: ‘Their standards really need improving.’
A trust spokesman said: ‘We are still reviewing options around creating a separate halal kitchen and the best ways to provide a range of healthy halal options to patients and staff who want them.’
The hospital came under fire for creating 31 ‘gender neutral’ toilets on site just before Christmas, at a time when the government was promising to phase out mixed-sex wards.
However, in January, the chief executive said plans had been well received.