Kent & Medway ICB reinstates gluten free prescribing in West Kent
2 February 2024
We're thrilled to share the recent decision by Kent & Medway Integrated Care Board (ICB) to adopt a policy of gluten free prescribing for those with a diagnosis of coeliac disease in the entire ICB area. This reinstatement means that individuals diagnosed with coeliac disease in West Kent can once again access gluten free bread and flour mix through prescription whilst protecting existing provision for those in the rest of the ICB.
This positive change comes after West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group withdrew the provision in September 2017. Coeliac UK expressed concerns about the impact on the local coeliac community, emphasising the increased cost of gluten free food and challenges around access and availability. The ICB, which assumed responsibility in July 2022, conducted a thorough review aligning gluten free prescribing guidelines.
Coeliac UK actively engaged in the review process, providing vital supporting evidence, including preliminary results from our cost of gluten free food report.
Under the new policy, patients with a diagnosis of coeliac disease in the ICB can now access gluten free bread and mixes on prescription in line with Coeliac UK gluten free prescribing guidance for England. This includes fresh, long life, and part baked loaves and rolls, as well as bread and flour mixes. We applaud the ICB for recognising the importance of this lifeline for individuals with coeliac disease and extending its protection to the wider Kent and Medway region. We urge other ICBs contemplating policy reviews to follow this positive example.
Tristan Humphreys, Head of Advocacy, Coeliac UK said:
"This positive development not only reinstates access to gluten free prescriptions in West Kent but sets an example for other ICB’s across the country. Coeliac UK commends Kent & Medway ICB for recognising the importance of gluten free prescriptions in supporting those with coeliac disease and encourages other boards to follow suit."