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Removal of gluten-free food on prescription by Isle of Wight CCG

12 January 2017

We are very disappointed to tell you that the CCG has announced the decision to stop prescribing gluten-free foods from April 2017 unless exceptional circumstances exist.  

We will be contacting the CCG to understand how they will determine which patients are eligible to continue to receive gluten-free food on prescription.

We are very disappointed that this decision has been made despite the fact that 67% of people who responded to the consultation disagreed or strongly disagreed with the proposal.

Policy change in Isle of Wight

While the CCG have made this decision, we would like to stress that the final decision about what to prescribe lies with your GP.  We would therefore encourage you to have a discussion with your GP about gluten-free food on prescription if you are concerned about the impact this may have on you being able to manage your gluten-free diet.

We understand the importance of access to gluten-free products on prescription for people with coeliac disease, particularly those on low incomes or those only able to shop in small convenience stores which do not stock staple gluten-free foods. We are concerned that the measures taken by the CCG to save money will affect people’s ability to stick to the gluten-free diet and in turn increase the likelihood of complications of coeliac disease such as osteoporosis.  As well as the suffering this may cause, it will also cost the NHS more in the long term.

Support group meeting

Community Action Isle of Wight have arranged a support group which will be meeting on Tuesday 17 January at the Riverside Centre between 5pm and 7pm.

Have your say

If you would like to oppose the prescription cuts, there are several things that you can do:

  • Contact the local Healthwatch by calling on 01983 608608 or writing to Freepost RTGR-BKRU-KUEL, Healthwatch Isle of Wight, The Riverside Centre, The Quay, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2QR
  • Contact Isle of Wight CCG by emailing (ccg@iow.nhs.uk), writing to Isle of Wight CCG, Building A, The APEX, St. Cross Business Park, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5XW or calling on 01983 552064
  • 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

Share your story

As part of our work in opposing prescription cuts, we are looking for people affected by these 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 CCG on the issue and will seek the support of clinicians in the area. We will be asking the CCG how the impact of the change on the long term health of people with coeliac disease will be monitored.

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