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Frequently Asked Questions

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How can I get Coeliac UK to campaign for me?

We are always on the lookout for ways that we can improve the lives of those with coeliac disease and DH. If you think there is something we could be campaigning on, get in touch with us.

How can my local NHS Trust support patients with gluten-free prescribing while meeting tighter NHS budgets?

Pharmacy supply schemes are currently running in a number of parts of the UK. These schemes have resulted in significant cost savings while continuing to support people with coeliac disease on the gluten-free diet. Read more information on these schemes.

Can I volunteer if I work full time?

Yes. Many of our volunteers work full time. We aim to provide flexible roles which can be carried out around your other commitments, be they work, family or leisure.

What are the benefits of volunteering with Coeliac UK?

Volunteering with Coeliac UK can offer a range of benefits. It can be a great chance to:

  • meet new people
  • build confidence
  • try something new
  • make a difference
  • have fun!

Throughout your role you will be supported by the staff at Coeliac UK. We will provide you with information, advice and updates throughout your time as a volunteer.

How can I update my contact details?

You can amend your personal contact details, email address and login details in your Scrapbook. You need to be logged in to do this, so if you are not already logged in you'll need to have your username and password at hand. Alternatively you can email us or phone us on 0333 332 2033.

Is coeliac disease the same as an allergy to wheat?

Coeliac disease is not the same as an allergy to wheat. Coeliac disease is a well defined, serious illness where the body’s immune system attacks itself when gluten is eaten. This causes damage to the lining of the gut and means that the body cannot properly absorb nutrients from food. Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or intolerance, it is an autoimmune disease. Wheat allergy is a reaction to proteins found in wheat, triggered by the immune system and usually occurs within seconds or minutes of eating.

What can I do to help?

There is a range of ways to get involved, and there is something for everyone. Whether you tell your story through being a case study, write to your MP, collect signatures for a petition or host an event, everything helps to raise awareness about coeliac disease.

How common is coeliac disease?

It is thought that one in 100 people in the UK has coeliac disease but only 24% of these people are diagnosed. We estimate there are nearly half a million people who have coeliac disease but aren’t yet diagnosed.

Can the Community pharmacy supply of gluten-free foods toolkit be used for individual GP dispensing practices?

It would be difficult to set up a pharmacy led supply scheme as an independent. If you are interested in setting up a pharmacy led supply scheme we would recommend speaking with your local Clinical Commissioning Group and other GP surgeries in your area to consider the potential for collaboration.

Items supplied on prescription are reimbursed through the national Prescription Pricing Department (PPD). The PPD receives all prescriptions dispensed and reimburses individual pharmacies and GP dispensaries accordingly.The cost of each prescription is taken from the appropriate GP surgery prescribing budget. In Northamptonshire, when the pharmacy led supply scheme was introduced in 2006, the funds came from the existing Primary Care Trust (PCT) prescribing budget.

How long do I have to eat gluten before being tested?

The recommendation is to eat some gluten in more than one meal every day for at least six weeks before getting tested for coeliac disease. Find out why you should keep eating gluten throughout the diagnosis process.

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