Member login

Not a Member?

Site logo

  1. Your location: Home
  2. Healthcare Professionals
  3. Management
  4. New patients

New patients

New patient appointment checklist

The following is a checklist of important areas to cover when seeing a patient who is newly diagnosed with coeliac disease. There are a lot of areas to cover, so you may need more than one appointment to go through all the information: 

  • weight, height, BMI
  • symptoms - before and after diagnosis. Some patients may not attribute any health problem specifically to their coeliac disease - you may need to help them retrospectively identify their symptoms
  • assess the patient's understanding of coeliac disease - they may have accessed information from a variety of sources before attending the appointment
  • explanation of coeliac disease - what it is and how it affects the body
  • gluten free diet - explain what gluten is, where you find it and tools available to select safe foods such as gluten free labelling and allergen labelling, use Coeliac UK’s video guides to help
  • highlight which foods are naturally gluten free, for example, rice, potatoes, plain meat, fish, eggs, cheese, milk, most yogurts, fruits, vegetables, pulses (peas, beans, lentils)
  • assess the patient's understanding of the gluten free diet and consider involving other family members in dietary education
  • explain how to introduce gluten free oats into a gluten free diet
  • cross contamination with gluten and sensible steps on how to avoid it
  • Gluten free food on prescription - discuss products available and how patients can get gluten free food on prescription. Discuss prepayment certificates if the patient pays for prescriptions.
  • starter cards - should be given to the patient so they can order samples from a variety of gluten free manufacturers
  • availability of gluten free food - discuss ranges available in supermarkets, health food shops, mail order and the internet
  • eating out - discuss with the patient strategies to overcome challenges when eating out, for example, ring before going to a restaurant, inform staff about the gluten free diet and highlight the use of Coeliac UK Venue Guide
  • explain how to use the Food and Drink Directory, including the importance of monthly updates
  • calcium intake – highlight the importance of meeting the increased daily calcium requirements. Assess whether a supplement may be required. For children with coeliac disease, there is no recommendation for increased calcium requirements, so a calcium rich diet using Reference Nutrient Intakes (RNI) as a guide is appropriate
  • consider other lifestyle issues which may impact on bone health, for example, regular weight bearing activity, avoid smoking and excess alcohol. Check if the patient has been referred for a DEXA scan
  • as well as ensuring the diet is gluten free it is also important to ensure the diet is well balanced in line with general healthy eating recommendations
  • consider any other dietary restrictions, for example if they are also following a vegetarian or vegan diet, are lactose intolerant, or if they have diabetes
  • give the patient advice on vaccinations and medications
  • arrange a follow up appointment
  • give the patient a current Coeliac UK membership form and information on the services the charity provides. Both of these can be found on the right hand side of this page.
More New patients links  
Print page Add to My Scrapbook
Show Footer Menu