Help decide the future of gluten free food on prescription
Published: 22 August 2015 | Categories: NHS
For more than 30 years, the NHS has prescribed gluten-free foods like bread, flour, cereal and pasta to help people with coeliac disease to follow a gluten-free diet.
This policy was created at a time when gluten-free foods were not as readily available as they are today. In recent years, the range of gluten-free products has increased dramatically, with most supermarkets now stocking a wide range of these items.
However, the NHS is still spending £25m a year to provide gluten-free products on prescription. Locally, the total annual spend is around £245,000. With an increasing demand for services, the NHS must look at all the products and services and make decisions about what services to expand and what to reduce. As a result, we are exploring the possibility of no longer providing gluten-free foods on a prescription basis.
This isn’t the first time we’ve consulted on gluten free food on prescription. Last year, we carried out a consultation following which a decision was made to reduce the amount of gluten free food on prescription to 8 units of bread and/or flour only each month for all patients (with some extra for third trimester pregnancy and when breastfeeding).
Nottingham West and Rushcliffe CCGs are now looking at gluten-free foods on prescription and we are undergoing the consultation process again along with them to see if anything has changed and to get your views on:
- Stop all prescribing of gluten-free foods.
- Limit to 8 units of bread and/or flour each month.
- Limit the products available to flour only (maximum of 4 units per month)
This 90 day consultation will run from Monday 3 August to Friday 30 October 2015 and we would like you to complete a short survey to help us understand what you think about the different options – whether you live with coeliac disease or not.
You can complete the survey online or join us at one of our events