An NHS Hospital Trust has launched what it describes as an 'extensive vegan menu' in a bid to improve the experiences of patients.
East Lancashire Hospitals Trust is adding plant-based bean burgers as well as stir-friend veg and quinoa to its offerings.
The launch ties in with The Vegan Society's campaign to increase and improve vegan options in public sector canteens, in an attempt to address the 'challenging situations' it often hears about from vegans in schools, hospitals and prisons.
Tim Radcliff, Catering Manager for East Lancashire Hospitals Trust [ELHT], said the trust is 'focused on improving the whole patient experience' - adding that food plays an important role in that.
He said: "We are continually improving the food experience for everyone who uses our facilities, and for some time we have been working on enhancing our provisions for vegans.
"Unlike many hospital catering services, our menus now include vegan options such as quinoa with stir-fried veg and a Cajun-spiced vegetable bean burger.
"In the near future these options are to be supplemented by a range of in-house prepared vegan salads that have been successfully trialled, including a roast cauliflower salad, falafel salad with aubergines (and chermoula yogurt provided separately) and a chickpea, nut and cranberry salad."
Right to be vegan
The Vegan Society says: "It's easy to produce tasty options that are rich in fibre and low in saturated fat, provide multiple servings of fruit and vegetables, and exclude processed meat, which the World Health Organization has classified as a cause of cancer.
"Veganism has been found to come within the scope of international human rights provisions and vegans in the UK are protected under human rights and equality law.
"Therefore vegans should already have the right to suitable, animal-free catering in public sector settings."
Major nutritional bodies have stated that well-planned vegan diets can support healthy living in people of all ages