Changes to Gluten Free prescribing

A decision has been taken by NHS Castle Point and Rochford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to reduce the quantity of prescribed Gluten Free food that patients can order by 50 per cent.

Following an extensive public consultation, the CCG’s Clinical Executive Committee, a committee which includes local GPs, reviewed this service to ensure any change would be clinically safe. Discussions also took place with Coeliac UK and other specialist health professionals. The decision was taken by the CCG’s Governing Body at it’s meeting held in public on 30 June 2016.

Dr Kashif Siddiqui, Chair for NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG said:

“We would like to thank everyone who took part in our public consultation, the findings of which we have taken very seriously. Gluten Free products can be very expensive when obtained via an NHS prescription and the products are often considerably more costly than the price of a similar Gluten Free product purchased in the supermarket. In the current economic climate tough decisions have to be made to ensure we can continue to meet the health needs of all our population. Gluten Free prescribing is not the only area we are looking at. We will be reviewing other areas and treatments that are shown to be less clinically effective, provide insufficient health benefits and those that do not represent good value for money.

Patients told us that they struggle to find the brands that they trust in their supermarket. We therefore have decided to continue to support Gluten Free prescribing in part, rather than stopping the prescribing of all items at this time.”

The number of Gluten Free units recommended for each patient is different based on a number of variables including age, sex and whether pregnant. NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG is working with Coeliac UK to agree a workable number of units.

Now that a decision has been reached, an implementation plan will be put in place, with a view to notifying GPs/pharmacies and other prescribers as soon as possible.

More information is available in our Question and Answer document below:
pdf Gluten Free Q&A July 2016 (187 KB)

Details of public consultation and Governing Body meeting:
Our public consultation on Gluten Free prescribing ran from 2 March to 22 March 2016. Click on the links below for more information:
pdf Gluten Free Food Public Consultation Document (293 KB)
pdf Gluten Free Food Public Consultation FAQ (234 KB)

Following the consultation, a report and recommendation was presented to our Governing Body at an extraordinary meeting held in public on 30 June 2016. Click on the link below to view the report and recommendations:
Governing Body extraordinary meeting 30 June 2016 - papers

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