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Consultation by NHS Mansfield & Ashfield CCG and Newark & Sherwood CCG

6 January 2017

Following the decision to restrict gluten-free prescribing in March 2016, we are aware that NHS Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Newark and Sherwood CCG are again reviewing their policy on access to gluten-free food on prescription and are asking local people for their views.

The CCGs currently prescribe a maximum of 16 units every 56 days (or 8 units every 28 days) for adults. Children up to the age of 18, pregnant and breastfeeding women are able to access prescriptions in line with the National Prescribing Guidelines.

However, the CCGs are now reviewing their policy and are proposing to remove access to gluten-free foods on prescription.

Coeliac UK communication with the CCG

We are extremely concerned by the proposal and will be submitting a formal response in support of continuing access to gluten-free food on prescription.

Our arguments will focus on the importance of gluten-free staples on prescription to support management and adherence to the gluten-free diet in view of cost and availability issues.

Research shows that gluten-free staple foods are not readily available to purchase in budget supermarkets and convenience stores and that gluten-free staple foods are 3-4 times more expensive than gluten containing equivalents. 

We will also be asking local healthcare professionals for their support.

Have your say

If you wish to participate in the consultation process the survey can be accessed online at:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/prescribing4Jan2017

The engagement period will run until 1 February 2017, however the CCGs are holding local drop in events. Please see below for further details:

DateTimeVenue
Monday 9 January 5-7pm Larwood Suite, Ashfield Health & Wellbeing Centre, Portland St, Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottingham NG17 7AE
Tuesday 10 January 5-7pm Holy Trinity Community & Partnership Centre, Boundary Rd, Newark NG24 4AU
Wednesday 11 January 10am-12pm Lifespring Centre, Sherwood Drive, New Ollerton NG22 9PP
Thursday 12 January 2-4pm Mansfield Library, Four Seasons Centre, West Gate, Mansfield NG18 1NH

There is no need to book to attend but if you are unable make a session you can still share your views by completing a questionnaire. To request a copy, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 028 3693.

We would also encourage you to write to your local MP, we have a sample letter on our website which you can use, or please feel free to write your own letter explaining how the proposed changes would affect you.

Share your story 

As part of our work in opposing prescription cuts, we are looking for people affected by these prescription cuts to act as case studies.  This will enable us to give examples to the media of how this policy change would affect people with coeliac disease.  To become a case study or to find out more about interview opportunities please call us on 0333 332 2033.

We will provide updates as the situation progresses through direct mailings, Crossed Grain magazine and on our website.

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