Alternative prescribing schemes

Scottish Gluten Free Food Service

The Scottish Government runs the NHS Gluten Free Food Service across the country available through local pharmacies.

To be eligible to use the new Scottish Gluten Free Food Service you must live and be registered with a GP in Scotland and have a clinically confirmed diagnosis of coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). Those who live in care homes will not be able to use the service but can continue to access gluten free prescriptions via their GP.

This service allows you to:

  • order and receive gluten free food without routinely visiting your GP
  • have more control over the amount and type of gluten free staple foods ordered each month (up to an agreed amount in line with the National Prescribing Guidelines)
  • change your prescription requests each month, adding dietary variety
  • receive an annual health check at your community pharmacy to help monitor and signpost you to the correct healthcare professional if required (only available to adults with coeliac disease or DH)

Those who are eligible to be included within the Scottish Gluten Free Food Service will have been informed by their GP about the service and their gluten free unit allocation.

You will need to complete a registration form and return it to a community pharmacy of your choice, where a pharmacist will register you and provide more information about the service processes. Even if you don't want to access gluten free food on prescription, you should still register with a pharmacy so that you can receive your annual health check.

For more information visit NHS Inform.

Subsidy card scheme for use in shops and online

Whilst most of Wales provides gluten free staples via the traditional GP prescription model, Hywel dda University Health Board in West Wales has embraced an alternative approach. Rather than providing gluten free food on a prescription, a pre-paid subsidy card is issued to everyone with coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis.

This subsidy card is pre-loaded with credit equivalent to the difference in the costs of gluten free food compared to similar gluten containing food. The card can be used at any outlet that sells gluten free food with a card reader system e.g., supermarkets, local shops, community pharmacies, or online. The card can only be used to purchase gluten free food but offers flexibility for the user, whilst saving GP time. For more information, check out the scheme web page.