Two vegan doctors just created the UK’s first-ever Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered plant-based medical service.
Dr. Shireen Kassam MBBS, FRCPath, Ph.D., and Dr. Laura Freeman MBCHB, MRCGP, DRCOG, CCFP, DipIBLM, launched the online multidisciplinary lifestyle medicine company in January.
Plant-Based Health Online (PBHO) aims to educate other health professionals, members of the public, and policymakers on “the benefits of whole food plant-based nutrition in preventing and treating chronic disease.”
Kassam and Freeman draw on extensive professional experience in lifestyle medicine and use an evidence-based, holistic approach to preventative healthcare. Accordingly, their work includes supporting individuals to transition to a plant-based diet and offering advice on exercise, sleep, stress relief, and the importance of social connection to personal health.
Kassam is also a founder of Plant-Based Health Professionals UK, a community interest company that also provides plant-based and health education. A press release sent to LIVEKINDLY notes PBHO aims to reduce the impact of underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, on the coronavirus (COVID-19), in particular.
“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,” said Kassam.
“PBHO will be using plant-based nutrition as one of the tools to help patients regain their health,” she continued. “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.”
‘We are putting preventative medicine first’
A recent study by Public Health England found that COVID-19 motivates seven out of 10 adults to make healthy lifestyle choices. Many people find it difficult to know where to start, so PBHO plans to work closely with the National Health Service (NHS) and private healthcare providers to offer a “fully integrated service.”
“To date, 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,” said Freeman. “Not only will this create a convenient and easily accessible service to boost patient wellbeing, it will also help us play our part in reducing chronic disease in the UK.”
“Our ambition is that by helping patients adopt healthy lifestyle habits, including a whole food plant-based diet, we will be able to demonstrate to the NHS and other healthcare professionals the true power of healing through such an approach,” Kassam told LIVEKINDLY.
PBHO’s consultation prices begin at £165 (introductory rate), which includes a 45 minute consultation and a 15 minute follow up with the healthcare professional of choice. Prospective patients can book apppointments via Plant-Based Health Online.
“This service is not just for vegans,” added Kassam. “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.”