JOKES about the state of hospital food are about to become a thing of the past for inpatients at Russells Hall.

A brand new range of meals have been cooked up following feedback from patients to satisfy the most demanding of diets.

Busy Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust have spent well over a year speaking to patients in a bid to find out about their favourite foods.

A total of 2,750 inpatients were surveyed to find out what tempts their taste buds

Now they are set to cater for all tastes with a brand new range of cuisine provided by new culinary partners Apetito.

It's all part of plans to try and improve patient experience during their stay in hospital.

Special dietary and cultural choices, such as vegan and kosher will be on offer to patients.

There will also be options for people with allergies, healthy choices and energy-dense food with smaller portions and a higher protein content to help patients with nutritional needs.

The hospital will also be offering a light bite at every meal, such as jacket potatoes, food that can be eaten without cutlery and a wider range of sandwiches and salads.

Also on offer is a new dessert range with a choice of four hot and cold puddings plus fruit.

And there's a brand new children's menu including favourites such as pasta, meatballs and roast dinners.

Russells Hall is also launching supported mealtimes where families are encouraged to spend time with loved ones while having their meals.

Matron Deb Vasey said: "Supported mealtimes mean families can spend quality time together and we try to ensure they are not interrupted by routine and non urgent testing, doctors' rounds or administration of medicines.

"It ensures patients can get a nutritious meal without disruption of procedures which can be carried out at other times."