Gluten-free prescribing started more than 30 years ago when such products were not easily available to buy in the shops, and so the NHS offered the prescription service to help coeliac patients better manage their diet. However, due to changing diets and lifestyle choices there is now a much wider variety of foods available in the shops and supermarkets and gluten-free alternatives are widely available too.
NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has now withdrawn gluten-free foods from prescription in Southend. The CCG’s Clinical Executive Committee, a committee which includes local GPs, reviewed this service to ensure any change would be clinically safe and recommended that gluten-free food be removed from prescription. The CCG also carried out a public consultation which included discussions with Coeliac UK and other health professionals. The CCG’s Governing Body then agreed to remove gluten-free food from prescription.
Coeliac UK (www.coeliac.org.uk) has produced a useful and comprehensive food directory which is available free to members or £10 to non-members. This lists the wide range of gluten-free foods now available from supermarkets and other outlets.
If you have any queries regarding this decision then please contact NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG):
(t) 01702 314299
Alternatively, you can speak with Healthwatch Southend:
(t) 01702 356066