Changes in the prescribing of gluten free products
In the summer of 2016 we invited people to talk to us about changes to the way we prescription gluten-free products for patients diagnosed with Coeliac Disease and Dermatitis Herpetiformis.
Over 700 people participated in a survey to tell us what mattered most to them enabling us to really understand the impact of any change introduced. We would like to thank everyone who got involved as it really has helped us to make our prescribing decisions. The survey report is available to view here.
Why are we making changes to gluten free prescribing?
These changes are happening as it is easier than ever before to eat a healthy and balanced diet without relying completely on gluten free substitutes for wheat-based products such as bread, biscuits and pasta.
There is also now a large range of gluten-free products available in supermarkets and online, which there weren’t before. Over the past few years these products have reduced in price.
What is changing?
If you are a patient diagnosed with Coeliac Disease and / or Dermatitis Herpetiformis you will now be able to have up to 8 units per month of bread and flour on prescription.
The prescribing of pasta, pizza bases, cereal crisp breads, cakes and biscuits is not recommended as these foods are now available from supermarkets at a similar cost to their gluten containing equivalents.
Whilst this is a reduction to the about of unit you could receive per month, there is now a larger range of gluten-free products available in supermarkets and online, which over the past few years have reduced in price.
There is a selection of gluten-free bread and flour on prescription. This includes items with added calcium and a selection of wheat free, lactose free and milk free items available for those who have multiple intolerances.
Your questions answered?
We have put together a list of frequently asked questions and answers which we hope will assist and support you including guidance on establishing and maintaining a balanced diet. The information also dispels some of the myths around the quality of gluten-free products which the survey highlighted to us.
There is a lot of information on the Coeliac UK website that you can access if you want advice about your diet including:
- Information about eating out
- Gluten-free food on a budget
- Shopping and food labels
- Gluten-free checklist
If you require further specifc dietary advice speak to your GP who may refer you to a dietitian for further support
For reference you can view and download the gluten free products order form here. This form shows the products now available to order on prescription.
A fair way of using NHS resources
We think that the changes we have implemented are a much fairer way of utilising resources and believe that the results from our public survey show that the vast majority of people agree.