Mum's anger over hospital food

TODDLER Befinn Hedge is a regular at Ipswich Hospital.But her fuming mum claims that because of an allergy to dairy foods and the fact that she is vegetarian, catering staff seem unable to feed her daughter properly.

TODDLER Befinn Hedge is a regular at Ipswich Hospital.

But her fuming mum claims that because of an allergy to dairy foods and the fact that she is vegetarian, catering staff seem unable to feed her daughter properly.

Little Beffin from Cavendish Street, Ipswich is just 23 months old and suffers from epilepsy.

Her fits have been so severe that she has been to hospital nine times in her short life and spends between two and four days at a time there.


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But if things are not bad enough for her parents Sarah and Simon, until now they faced an ongoing battle with the hospital kitchens.

Because Befinn is vegetarian and also allergic to dairy produce Mrs Hedge said the little girl was just given plain rice and pasta because they seem unable to cater for her.

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But on hearing of her plight the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust are now going to draw up a special diet plan for Befinn who can take in her menu on a card every time she has to go into hospital.

Trust spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said the hospital was concerned to hear of the family's difficulties.

She said: "The hospital does deal with all sorts of dietary requirements and this is usually done with notice.

"People are screened for nutrition if you go in through the wards but if you go in through accident and emergency it can take a few days."

Mrs Hedge said she was delighted to hear about the new plans as her trips to the hospital had been fraught with difficulty.

She said: "The nurses tried really hard and were constantly phoning down to the kitchen but nothing suitable was ever brought up for a toddler."

Beffin is intolerant to dairy foods and has to replace cows milk with soya milk and normal margarine with soya margarine.

Although 27-year-old Mrs Hedge automatically takes Beffin's milk to the hospital whenever she has had a fit, she was amazed that the hospital did not even have soya margarine, meaning that her daughter had to eat dry toast for breakfast.

Despite her being vegetarian, on one occasion, Mrs Hedge said meat and vegetables were given to Beffin.

Mrs Hedge said: "I told them that she was vegetarian so they just took the meat off the plate and gave it back to us.

"It is not very nice when you are vegetarian and there has been meat on the plate."

n. What do you think? Write to us at Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.

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