Better hospital food for vegans

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In a progressive move towards vegan-friendly catering for all in UK hospitals, Senior Advocacy Officer Amanda Baker gave a voice to vegans at the Hospital Food Forum held in London in September 2013. During the meeting for groups collaborating in the Sustain Campaign for Better Hospital Food, Amanda asked the forum to consider the diverse benefits of vegan-friendly catering in hospitals. Soon afterwards, the National Chair of the Hospital Caterers Association, Andy Jones, sought our help in adding exciting, nutritious vegan-friendly recipes to their national database.

The Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) was founded in 1948 to improve the standards of catering in hospitals and healthcare establishments in the UK. There are many ways in which the HCA and The Vegan Society can work together to promote better food for vegans in hospitals, from sponsored recipe and menu development to joint media work. “We are working together to ensure patients get the best possible food and we are utilising the specialists to help in this objective,” Andy Jones says. 

Working with the HCA, The Vegan Society wants there to be balanced vegan-friendly recipes available to every hospital caterer in the UK. “We should never forget we do not just cook and serve food but we ensure good nutrition to ensure those in our care go home to their loved ones quicker and well,” added Andy. It is not always possible to speak up for yourself, particularly when you are sick.

As Advocacy Officer, Amanda Baker speaks to vegans who have struggled to get nutritious vegan-friendly food whilst in hospitals. If you are awaiting a hospital admission, try to speak to both the Hospital Registered Dietitian and Catering Manager at least two weeks before, or as soon as possible upon arrival.

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