Prescribing Gluten-Free foods in south Staffordshire
In the past year (June 2018 to July 2019), Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula and Stafford and Surrounds Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) prescribed 16,023 prescriptions for gluten-free foods at a cost of more than a quarter of a million pounds. The prescription of gluten-free (GF) products is not a cure for coeliac disease, nor does it treat the symptoms. Medical advice given to patients who are gluten intolerant would be to avoid food products containing gluten.
The current prescribing guidelines with south Staffordshire supports the standardisation of prescribing of gluten-free foods in primary care and applies to people with coeliac disease requiring only gluten-free foods. As the CCGs look to control finances and make the best use of NHS resources, difficult decisions have to be made. We are seeking views about proposals to remove GF products for adults from our prescribing policy, which could potentially lead to a reduction in patients receiving gluten-free products on prescription by around 85 per cent.
The proposed policy advises GPs to prescribe gluten-free staple foods to children and adolescents under the age of 18 diagnosed with coeliac disease, other gluten-related enteropathy or dermatitis herpetiformis. The range of foods available on the prescription will be restricted to bread and mixes.
A five-week public engagement period will begin on Monday 6 January 2020 and will close at midnight on Sunday 9 February 2020. Findings will then be analysed before being presented to the CCGs’ Governing Bodies later in the year. There are more details in the public document which accompanies this letter or on the CCG websites where you will also find a link to the online survey: