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Medical Diet

Medical Diet Procedure for Education (Primary, Feeder, Diner and Through Schools)

Why is this important?

The Medical Diet Procedure ensures that pupils with special dietary requirements are able to enjoy a school lunch that is safe and appropriate for their individual needs.  

What is a medical diet?

A medical diet is a medically prescribed therapeutic diet as a treatment for a medical condition. Our medical diet procedure also includes special diets required for pupils with food allergies or food intolerances. 

What is not a medical diet?

Medical diets do not include diets required for religious, cultural or personal requirements/preferences and dietary trials or elimination diets.  These diets can all be met through our standard menus. 

What about food allergies and intolerances?

  • Tree nuts, peanuts and sesame
    • We do not knowingly handle any nut or sesame containing ingredients in our education site kitchens.  Whilst all reasonable precautions are taken, some ingredients may be produced or processed in factories where nuts or sesame may be handled. Parents/carers of children with nut and sesame allergies should follow the medical diet procedure described below so that they are made known to the school and their specific needs can be safely managed.
  • Other food allergens
    • Wherever possible, all meals are prepared from scratch.  This means that we use ingredients including: milk, eggs, soya, gluten containing cereals (wheat, rye, oats and barley) (please note that this is not an exhaustive list).  Our staff are trained to follow best practice procedures to ensure that cross-contamination risks are minimised. However, parents/carers of children with food allergies should follow the medical diet procedure described below so that they are made known, and their specific needs can be safely managed, and we can prepare appropriate meals.

My child has a medical dietary requirement. What must I do?

Parents/carers of children with medical dietary requirements should follow the process below. 

  1. Parents/carers should make the school aware of medical diet needs and complete a medical diet request form

  2. Parent/carer to return a completed medical diet request form and provide a copy of their child’s written *medical evidence from a GP, paediatric consultant and/or paediatric dietician which must confirm details of the diagnosis and the required diet. Parent/carer to provide a photograph that can be used for identification purposes. These can be posted, emailed or handed to the school/LA.  If a GP letter is received, the Nutrition and Dietetic Team will liaise with the parents to determine if a medical diet is required prior to consultant diagnosis.

  3. School/LA will pass completed paperwork to our operations team to forward on to the Nutrition and Dietetic Team who will produce an appropriate medical diet menu based on the school’s menu cycle.  This will be produced within two weeks from the time of receipt. In the case of complex dietary requirements, the Nutrition and Dietetic Team will notify all parties if additional time is required to deliver the medical diet.

  4. Operations team will forward a named copy of the medical diet menu to the school to share with parents/carers. Parent/carer to communicate meal choices with the school/ school cook.

  5. Commencement of medical diet

*Medical evidence - should be dated within 12 months of the medical diet request.

We will hold the medical evidence and photographs for identification purposes on its records. This data is held in accordance with our data handling policy and in compliance with all legislation including the General Data Protection Regulation and will not be shared with third parties. For more information on how this data will be handled, please see our Medical Diet Privacy Notice.

What do we need from you?

To put the process into place as quickly as possible, we will need you:

  1. To contact the school to make them aware of your child’s medical dietary requirements.
  2. Once received, complete, sign and return the Medical Request Form.
  3. Medical Evidence dated within the last 12 months from the Paediatric Consultant or Paediatric Dietician.
  4. A photograph so that we can identify your child.
  5. Once you receive a copy of your child’s medical diet menu, please review this promptly and make daily meal selections for your child across the 3 weeks. Once your choices have been received, we will commence providing the menu.  Please retain a copy of the menu for your records. 

Protecting your and your child's information

We need to collect, store and process personal data about you and your child to provide your child with a medical diet. Detailed information about how and why we use this personal data is set out in our Medical Diet Parent/Carer and Child Privacy Notice.