Decision to remove gluten free food on prescription by Worcestershire CCGs
21 July 2017
We are very disappointed to tell you that NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG, NHS South Worcestershire CCG and NHS Wyre Forest CCG have made the decision to remove access to gluten free food on prescription.
We understand the importance of having access to gluten free food on prescription, particularly for people on low incomes or those only able to shop in small convenience stores that do not stock staple gluten free foods. We are concerned that the measures taken by the CCGs to save money will affect people’s ability to stick to the gluten free diet and that this in turn will result in ongoing symptoms and also increase the likelihood of complications of coeliac disease. As well as the individual suffering this may cause, it will also cost the NHS more in the long term.
Although the CCGs have made this decision, we would like to stress that your GP is responsible for your medical care and ensuring that your individual clinical needs are met. If you are concerned that this policy change is having an impact on your ability to manage your gluten free diet and your coeliac disease, you should see your GP for advice.
Have your say
To respond to your local CCGs decision to withdraw prescriptions:
• Contact the local Healthwatch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling on 01386 550264 or writing to Healthwatch Worcestershire, Civic Centre, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Pershore, WR10 1PT
• Contact your CCG using the details below, if you don’t know which CCG area you live in you can check on our website or you can ask us by calling on 0333 332 2033
- Contact South Worcestershire CCG by emailing Complaints.RBCCG-WFCCG@nhs.net, writing to NHS South Worcestershire CCG, The Coach House, John Comyn Drive, Perdiswell, Worcester, WR3 7NS, or calling on 01905 681999
- Contact Wyre Forest CCG by emailing (email@example.com), writing to NHS Wyre Forest CCG, Head office, Barnsley Court, Barnsley Hall Road, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, B61 0TX, or calling on 01527 482900
- Contact Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG by emailing (firstname.lastname@example.org), writing to NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG, Barnsley Court, Barnsley Hall Road, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, B61 0TX, or calling on 01527 482900
• 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 changes will affect you
• Speak with your local GP about your individual case
• Watch out for more information on next campaign steps particularly on our website
As part of our work, we are looking for people affected by prescribing cuts to act as case studies. This will enable us to give examples to the media of how this policy change has affected 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 continue to make strong representations to the CCGs on this issue and will also seek the support of clinicians in the area. We will be asking the CCGs how the impact of the change on the long term health of people with coeliac disease will be monitored.
Department of Health national consultation on gluten free prescribing
You may have read in Crossed Grain magazine or on our website about the Department of Health consultation on the future of gluten free prescribing. This consultation is looking at three options for the future of gluten free prescribing across England:
• Make no changes to current gluten free prescribing legislation
• Withdraw all gluten free prescriptions
• Only allow the prescribing of certain gluten free foods (eg limited to bread and flour)
We have responded to the national consultation and you can read our response at www.coeliac.org.uk/dohconsultationresponse. We have also had a meeting with representatives from the Department of Health to fight to retain access to prescribing. The report on the consultation is not due to be published until the autumn and in the meantime we will be stepping up our lobbying of MPs on this issue.
We will be challenging the CCGs on their decision to make changes to local prescribing while a national consultation is underway. We will also ask how they will be reviewing their local policy once the results of the national consultation are known.
We will keep you informed about our campaigns and research and let you know about developments in gluten free prescribing in Crossed Grain magazine, our electronic newsletters and on our website.