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Grace Hospital awarded Dining Out Programme accreditation

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Tauranga’s Grace Hospital has become the fourth private hospital in New Zealand to become accredited with the Dining Out Programme.

The surgical hospital was awarded its accreditation in April following a patient survey that identified a need for patients with coeliac disease to feel confident when eating gluten-free food provided by the hospital.

The Dining Out Programme (DOP), run by Coeliac New Zealand, is a training and accreditation programme for the hospitality and catering industry to ensure gluten-free food is produced and served safely for coeliac and gluten-free diners.

In order to become accredited, Grace Hospital’s kitchen and catering staff underwent an education and training programme on gluten-free best practices. In addition, nursing staff received training on the programme, gluten-free diets and the menu.  They were then audited by Coeliac NZ in April before being awarded their accreditation.

“Having a formal endorsement from Coeliac NZ to provide our coeliac patients with the assurance they can eat safely when they are in our care is really important,” says Grace Hospital’s Support Services Manager, Sally Cogswell.

“Poor nutrition and anxiety can hinder patient recovery. The Dining Out Programme accreditation helps remove these barriers to patients who have coeliac disease meaning they can eat meals with confidence.”

Grace Hospital is the first hospital in the Bay of Plenty region to become accredited with the Dining Out Programme.  It joins Southern Cross North Harbour, Southern Cross Hospital Invercargill and Mercy Hospital in Dunedin.

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