In February 2018 the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced its decision to nationally restrict the prescribing of gluten-free foods. This is in response to the public consultation in 2017 on the ‘Availability of gluten-free foods on NHS prescription’.
Wiltshire CCG’s current policy permits the prescribing of gluten-free staple foods for patients with a diagnosis of coeliac disease and/or dermatitis herpetiformis, with the following guidance:
- Gluten-free prescribing should focus on enabling people with coeliac disease to access gluten-free staple foods, (bread, bread mix, flour, flour mix and pasta) free of charge on NHS prescription, as part of a healthy balanced diet.
- Sweet biscuits and cakes should not be prescribed based on the grounds of supporting healthy lifestyles and the fact that gluten-free products are available at competitive prices in supermarket.
- Any gluten-free foods prescribed for patients without a confirmed diagnosis should not be prescribed.
Between April 1st 2017 and March 31st 2018, gluten-free foods on prescription cost NHS Wiltshire £241,487.
Wiltshire CCG is asking the public, patients and clinicians to have their say by completing a survey on two proposed options that will change the prescribing approach to gluten-free foods in Wiltshire, in line with National Institute of Care and Excellence (NICE) guidelines.
The survey closes on July 22nd 2018