South African foodservice quality: inpatient’s perceptions

Lindiwe Julia Ncube*, Alufheli Edgar Nesamvuni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assess patient perceptions regarding South African hospital foodservice quality. Design/methodology/approach: In total, 419 questionnaires were administered to surgical and medical inpatients consuming a normal diet in six South African provinces. A number of 23 urban and 10 rural hospitals were sampled. Inpatients were surveyed for their opinions on hospital foodservice quality with a view to improving meals and food delivery processes. Findings: Results revealed lower patient satisfaction with aspects relating to foodservice reliability. Among other issues, inpatients were not informed about meal times (overall median=0), had to wait longer than expected for their meals and were not informed about delays (overall median=2). Menu items were not explained to inpatients (overall median=0), and inpatients were not informed about nutritional values (overall median=0). Consequently, patients opined that they were not willing to use the hospital foodservice in future (overall median=2). Originality/value: To identify South African healthcare issues that need improvement, it is necessary to establish where to act. These findings create awareness among authorities and hospital managers to consider patient perceptions when they review and try to improve public hospital foodservice quality, which could also assist in ensuring improvement in food consumption levels, thereby combating South African hospital malnutrition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-458
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2019


  • Foodservice quality
  • Inpatient expectations
  • Inpatient perceptions
  • Inpatient satisfaction


Dive into the research topics of 'South African foodservice quality: inpatient’s perceptions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this