"Catering for coeliacs"

About: Abingdon Community Hospital

My 96 year old mother was admitted to EMU late morning 1.9.15.

When I visited in the afternoon I noticed that the only lunch provided was a yogurt.

I was told that there was no gluten free sandwiches/bread available, no gluten free soup or any light lunch for coeliacs.

I was informed that gluten free bread and food has to be pre ordered and would take about 48 hours to implement.

My Mother has had oral cancer, her mouth is sore with ulcers and all that could be offered for her evening meal was chilli soya or vegetable curry!!

This is totally unsuitable for someone who is very unwell and with a sore mouth.

It is totally unacceptable and discriminatory that someone with coeliac disease should have to virtually starve because the hospital cannot provide nutricious and suitable food on admission.

It is ridiculous to expect the patient who is there because they are unwell to have to wait up to 48 hours for the same stsndard of food to be offered that everyone else, including diabetics, vegetarians, halal, afro caribbean and all the other food choices are offered.

Coeliac disease is not a food choice ...it is an illness.

This situation has happened before and should have been addressed when the cost cutting, inflexible and sub standard service of supplying ready made meals instead of on site catering was introduced.

I feel very strongly that this problem has not been addressed over the years that my mother has been in local community hospitals and I intend to write to my MP and the Minister responsible for the department of health.

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Response from Abingdon Community Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to write a review with regards to the lack of food available for coeliac patients at Abingdon EMU. We are very sorry to hear about your mothers experience and we are very keen to improve our services. We will make the relevant manager aware of your experience and we would welcome you contacting our PALS team so we can look into your concerns PALS@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk

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