BOSSES at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital have shut down their kitchen and restaurant after an influx of flies.

The recent warm and wet weather has caused a flurry of insects with NHS chiefs fearing the kitchen has been left unsanitary.

It comes after the Gazette reported last night how patients receiving treatment were told the only food on offer was shop-bought sandwiches.

Those staying overnight or long-term were given the option of a cheese ploughmans or a plain ham sandwich.

The chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has apologised for the disruption.

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, said: “Yesterday we made the decision to temporarily close the kitchen and restaurant at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital due to a number of flies appearing in the area. This was not a decision we took lightly, but we have a responsibility to make sure every precaution is taken to ensure the safety of our patients, some of who are very unwell.

“We are investigating the cause of the issue in the kitchen area, which may be due to the unseasonably warm and wet weather we’ve experienced in the last week. Our teams have been working extremely hard to resolve the issue, and as a result we hope to resume a normal service in the kitchen and restaurant from tomorrow (Thursday, September 26) morning, once the area has been thoroughly cleaned.

“Patients will receive a reduced hot meal service for both lunch and supper today while patients with specialist dietary requirements have continued to be catered for throughout.

“No food is being served to visitors or staff from the restaurant today, but alternative food outlets are available throughout the hospital and we hope to be back to business as usual tomorrow.

“We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused by this. Our staff have been working incredibly hard to reduce the impact this has had on our patients, and I would like to thank them all for their continued efforts.”