Department of Health consultation on gluten free prescribing regulations
21 August 2018
Following on from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consultation on the future of gluten free prescribing in England in 2017 and the decision to retain access to gluten free bread and flour mixes on prescription, announced earlier this year, the DHSC has now launched a consultation on the new regulations which will enforce this change in England.
We are concerned that the draft regulations will not provide the much needed solution to the current postcode lottery for gluten free prescribing. Gluten free prescribing policies in England are decided at a local level by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and around a third of CCGs have already removed access to gluten free prescriptions. The draft regulations will blacklist products other than bread and flour mixes (making them unavailable on prescription), but will not insist that CCGs reintroduce gluten free bread and flours on prescription where they are currently not available.
Although this consultation is specifically addressing the implementation of the new regulation it does provide a chance to put on public record the reality of the current situation with gluten free prescribing which supports the information we have already provided to the Department of Health about increasing numbers of CCGs imposing restrictions on any access to prescriptions. If you live in an area where access to prescriptions has been removed, you can share your views on how the cuts have affected you and help us to make the case for an equitable approach in England.
The deadline to respond is 1 October 2018 which gives us time to make our case. You can also respond individually to the consultation at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/gluten-free-foods-on-nhs-prescription
We will provide updates as the situation progresses and will share our response on our website and in our email newsletters.