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Gluten free foods – should they continue to be made available on the NHS?


12 March 2015

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NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group has launched an initiative to hear peoples’ views about whether gluten free food products should continue to be prescribed on the NHS.

NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group has launched an initiative to hear peoples’ views about whether gluten free food products should continue to be prescribed on the NHS.

Currently, the clinical commissioning group (CCG) spends around £75,000 each year on prescribing gluten free products. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance identifies that, wherever possible, patients should receive a definitive diagnosis of coeliac disease prior to starting on a gluten free regime that typically involves taking a biopsy from the patient’s gut. Currently, some patients who receive a prescription for gluten free foods have not had their condition diagnosed in this way.

There are two elements to the CCG’s review of prescriptions for gluten free foods. The first is to ensure that anyone who receives a prescription for gluten free products has received a NICE compliant diagnosis that identifies that they should follow a gluten free diet. The second element is to review the range of gluten free products that can be prescribed. At the moment there are number of gluten free products available including, bread, flour, pasta, cake mixes, biscuits and cereals. The CCG is considering whether it should continue to prescribe this full range of products, limit the number of products or stop prescribing them all together.

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