"Nut allergy and food"

About: Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France / General Surgery

(as the patient),

I am admitted a lot to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and I never do complain because the staff do such amazing jobs and are amazing towards me.

However one thing I must comment on is food related. I used to be able to eat the food without problems and most of it I thoroughly enjoyed, however, I was diagnosed with a nut allergy (severe) and now cannot eat any of the food provided by the hospital.

The staff have to make special allowances for me and go to the canteen to get me a baked potato and after several admittances this does get a little bland and tedious.

The food cannot be guaranteed nut free which is why I cannot eat it...

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Response from Stuart Wilson, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, NHS Lothian

Dear onemorestep2

Let me first of all apologise for the delay in responding.

Food at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh is the responsibility of our private sector partner Consort Healthcare. They in turn contract the work to Cofely.

Cofely tell me that their Apetito menu guides confirm a range of food which is categorised as free from nuts. However, there is a standard caveat that the meal contains no nuts but MAY contain nut traces.

This information is available to all NHS staff (including nutritionists) and can be used in discussions with patients prior to and during their visit to the hospital.

Cofely have a support process in place where, working with NHS staff, the Patient Services Manager or Head Chef will visit the patient on request should there be nothing suitable for them to eat as they and we wish to give patients the best possible experience when they visit the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

From September 2013, Apetito stopped using peanuts or tree nuts as an ingredient in any of the foods they prepare in their factory. However, unfortunately they cannot guarantee that their products will be 100 per cent free from nuts or nut derivatives.

The Patient Services Manager or Head Chef is available to discuss any dietary requirements with NHS staff and the patient either before or during their next visit to the hospital.

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