Vegan doctors have launched the UK's first Care Quality Commission registered online medical service to improve individual and public health.
Dr Laura Freeman and Dr Shireen Kassam have launched the first plant-based medical service in the UK, using their extensive professional experience in lifestyle medicine to help patients improve their health.
This evidence-based approach to healthcare includes helping patients transition to a whole food plant-based diet in addition to advising on physical activity, restorative sleep, alleviating stress and fostering social connections.
Plant-Based Health Online will focus on reducing the impact of underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and heart disease on Covid-19. This is because the lifestyle medicine approach has the potential to prevent these chronic conditions.
The service will work in conjunction with NHS and other private healthcare providers, offering an integrated system. Therefore Plant-Based Health Online will not only benefit the patient but will also share the knowledge of plant-based lifestyle medicine to other doctors who may be unfamiliar with it.
‘Putting preventative medicine first’
In a statement sent to Vegan Food and Living, Dr Laura Freeman, MBCHB, MRCGP, DRCOG, CCFP, DipIBLM, co-founder of Plant-Based Health Online and a dual-licensed GP and Certified Lifestyle Medicine Doctor – who is also a cancer survivor – told us:
“Most medical schools offer very little training in nutrition or lifestyle medicine. But by encouraging people to adopt healthier choices we are putting preventative medicine first.
“With a focus on evidence-based dietary and lifestyle advice, we can promote improved physical and emotional health – whether a patient is a plant-based eater or otherwise. Not only will this create a convenient and easily accessible service to boost patient wellbeing, but it will also help us play our part in reducing chronic disease in the UK.”
‘Not just for vegans’
Dr Shireen Kassam MBBS, FRCPath, PhD, founder of Plant-Based Health Professionals UK and a Consultant Haematologist, added:
“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted many aspects of our society that must change, and the current lack of focus on health promotion has highlighted the true vulnerabilities of the UK population. A recent survey of over 5,000 adults by Public Health England found that 7 in 10 adults are motivated by Covid-19 to make healthier lifestyle changes. However, we know that most people find it difficult to navigate the choices presented to them and it can be hard to know where to
“PBHO will be using plant-based nutrition as one of the tools to help patients regain their health because we recognise that unhealthy diets are one of the top causes of ill health in the UK – and adopting a plant-based diet is one of the healthiest choices there is.
“However, this service is not just for vegans. It’s a service for everyone who wants to improve their personal health, the health of their family members and of course the health of the planet. PBHO staff will meet patients wherever they may be on their journey to a healthier lifestyle”.
Consultation prices start from £165 (introductory price), which includes a 45-minute consultation with a healthcare professional of choice and a 15 minute follow up.
Patients can book an appointment for the first plant-based health service in the UK here.
What has nutrition got to do with the health of your brain?
Find out by reading our article on Optimal brain health: Three nutrients you really need.