Options for all

Thursday 20th March 2014
Hospital food has regularly come under fire for being tasteless or lacking in good nutrition and that's without even considering any individual dietary requirements.

Options for all

Hospital food has regularly come under fire for being tasteless or lacking in good nutrition and that's without even considering any individual dietary requirements.
'Some hospitals are already doing a great job, but often vegan patients face a depressing hospital food lottery,' Amanda Baker, senior advocacy officer at the Vegan Society, told Vegetarian Living. 'This is despite the general duty of care hospitals have for all patients, and the fact that being vegan is a protected philosophical belief under the European Convention on Human Rights.'
The good news is that's now set to change as part of a collaboration between the Vegan Society and the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) which aims to revolutionise vegan-friendly food in hospitals across the UK. The Vegan Society is providing the HCA with a number of recipes which should start appearing on hospital menus this summer.
The move is the result of a Hospital Food Forum organised last September by Sustain, a registered charity and alliance representing around 100 national public interest organisations. Sustain has been campaigning for better standards in hospital food and last November published new figures showing the government spends more on nutritional supplements for hospital patients than on the food served to them.
Following the Forum, Andy Jones, national chair of the Hospital Caterers Association, approached the Vegan Society to start discussions. 'We want to get the message about appetising, nutritious vegan recipes out to all hospital caterers, and ultimately, to the patients we serve,' he explained. Amanda told Vegetarian Living that the Vegan Society have been impressed with the HCA's proactive approach, adding, 'As well as ensuring vegan needs are met, good vegan-friendly food can appeal to just about any diner, and can support recovery and healthy living.'
Until the new menus are rolled out, the Vegan Society recommends vegan patients get in touch with their hospital catering manager and registered dietitian. The Vegan Society and the HCA are also each in dialogue with the British Dietetic Association regarding hospital nutrition.
Visit www.vegansociety.com for further details, and follow @TheVeganSociety and @HospitalCaterer on Twitter.

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