EAST Lancashire hospitals have revealed an extensive vegan menu as a campaign to increase options on public sector menus was launched.

Patients at hospitals in East Lancashire could tuck into quinoa with stir-fried veg or a Cajun spiced vegetable bean burger as the trust looks to expand its' vegan offering.

The Vegan Society celebrated NHS Sustainability Day by launching a campaign that aims to ensure the needs of vegans are met in public sector institutions, and that more vegan options are served on public sector menus.

The society is calling for councils to lead by example by improving the vegan provision in their offices and influencing the institutions in their local authority.

But East Lancashire Hospitals Trust is ahead of the curve and plans are afoot to add more vegan-friendly meals to the menu.

Tim Radcliff, catering manager for ELHT, said: “The trust is focused on improving the whole patient experience, and food plays a very important role in that.

"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.

"We are incredibly proud that Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital achieved the ‘Food for Life Served Here’ Bronze Award last summer.

"The independent endorsement demonstrates that we are serving freshly prepared high quality food that meets the needs and expectations of our patients, staff and visitors.

"An element of the award recognises the work the trust has undertaken in reducing the amount of meat served in the hospital.

"It also supports the catering service’s ‘Meat Free Monday’ which has recently taken even further steps to exclude fish and cheese-based main meals; making it acceptable to our vegan customers.

"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.”

Louise Davies, head of campaigns and policy at The Vegan Society, said: “We’re asking our public services to provide tasty, nutritious and appropriate vegan options not just for vegans, but for everyone, every day.

“As well as supporting the rights of vegans, this would promote the wider benefits of veganism for people, animals and the planet.

“We’re delighted to be launching the campaign on NHS Sustainability Day – any public institution looking to reduce their carbon footprint would do well do serve more vegan food."

A Blackburn with Darwen Council spokesman said the majority of schools in the borough manage their own kitchens.