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The catering department at Bedford Hospital offers a balanced range of freshly prepared hot and cold dishes to patients, staff and visitors. We manage the catering service for patients on the wards and offer catering facilities for patients, visitors and staff at the Swannery restaurant and Le Bistro café. The department is manned by two head chefs, one deputy head chef and 40 other staff consisting of chefs, catering assistants, kitchen porters, and four admin and clerical support staff, all of whom pride themselves on providing consistently high quality standards of food and service throughout the hospital.

Catering for Inpatients


We supply a patient food service which includes three balanced meals a day to all wards. We carry out weekly personal visits to the wards to discuss catering needs and requirements and conduct a monthly quality assurance survey with input from patients on all aspects of the catering service.

As part of our protected mealtimes scheme, wards will be closed to visitors and staff during patient mealtimes so patients can relax and enjoy their meals, without interruptions. The protected mealtimes are as follows:

Breakfast 7.45 – 8.15 a.m.

Lunch 12.30 – 1.15 p.m.

Supper 5.30 – 6.15 pm

If your family member or friend is a patient who needs help at mealtimes, you are welcome to assist, with the agreement of the nurse in charge.

A ‘Red Tray’ initiative is provided on all wards during meal times. This is used to identify those patients who may require assistance to eat their meals. Meals are placed on a red tray and returned to the patient with their meal cards. Assistance will then be given as required by either a member of the ward staff or a relative or friend. We are finding this to be very successful and beneficial to patients who have difficulty feeding themselves.

Other Catering Facilities

The Swannery

The Swannery is the main restaurant on site and is located along the main corridor, near the Kempston Road entrance to the hospital. The Swannery is open from 7am-8pm Monday-Friday, and from 9am-5pm on the weekend. The Swannery offers a range of hot meals, hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, and snacks. Children’s portions and highchairs are also available.

Le Bistro

Le Bistro is the hospital café which is situated along the main corridor, opposite The Swannery. Le Bistro offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere to enjoy a hot or cold drink, continental pastries, filled baguettes, soups or the ‘hot dish of the day’ Le Bistro is open from 8.45am to 4pm.

Vending Machines

There are vending machines offering snacks, sandwiches and hot and cold drinks located outside the outpatients department, and outside the lifts to the main ward block. There are also some coffee machines available in outpatients clinics.

Contact Us


The catering manager is Peter Gillard: if you would like to contact the department, please call the hospital switchboard on 01234 355 122.