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Gluten free prescribing update

CCG to keep gluten free products available on prescription but limit the amount available

From Monday 1 December 2014, there will be some changes to our policy for gluten free prescribing.

The Clinical Cabinet, which is made up of GPs from all local practices, agreed that the prescribing of gluten free food for all patients with a clinical diagnosis of coeliac disease or Dermatitis Herpetiformis will be limited to eight units (with extra provision for pregnancy and breastfeeding) and to the range of products detailed at the bottom of the page.

Dr Paul Oliver, Clinical Lead for the Nottingham North and East Clinical Commissioning Group said “The decision to make changes to the policy for gluten free prescribing came after a wide-ranging discussion, which considered a number of options from maintaining the current prescribing guidelines to stopping gluten free prescriptions entirely; a public consultation and the examination of evidence from other CCG areas.

“Times have changed and an extensive range of gluten free products is now available. Thirty years ago this was not the case and is why gluten free products were made available on prescription to help people manage their conditions. We do not prescribe food for other long-term conditions and, while demand for NHS services continues to increase, we have to look at how we can make savings without impacting on patients’ care.

“However, we do recognise that some gluten free products can be more expensive, which is why we have, at this time, elected to maintain eight units of bread and flour. This policy will be reviewed in a year’s time.

“There are also lots of alternative foods,  which are naturally gluten free. If patients are unsure of what they can or can’t eat and they want advice on how best to manage their condition then they should speak to their GP.”

What can be prescribed?

Bread – either fresh or long-life bread may be prescribed depending on patient preference.
Flour – plain or self-raising flour may be prescribed.
8 units of bread and/or flour only each month for all patients
(1 unit of bread = 400g, 2 units of flour = 500g).

Add 1 unit per month if in third trimester of pregnancy.

Add 4 units per month if a mother is breastfeeding.

Only products approved as Borderline Substances by ACBS may be prescribed. Prescribing of Gluten Free products should only be for patients diagnosed with Coeliac disease or with Dermatitis Herpetiformis.

You can read an FAQ here.

If you have an opinion about these changes, the please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison team.



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