NHS England has published guidance for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) on the prescribing of gluten-free foods in primary care in England. This follows the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) consultation outcome, to continue to allow access to gluten-free foods on prescription in England but to restrict items to gluten-free bread products and mixes only.
The British Specialist Nutrition Association (BSNA) is pleased to see that the NHS England guidance acknowledges the postcode lottery which currently exists across England and has made it their objective to provide clear national advice to make local prescribing practices more effective. We welcome the acknowledgement within the guidance, that the provision of gluten-free bread and mixes on NHS prescription is expected to minimise any drop in adherence.
Declan O’ Brien, Director General of the British Specialist Nutrition Association, said: “We welcome that NHS England expects bread products and mixes to be provided on prescription in England for all patients diagnosed with coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis. However, we are concerned that the contradictory statements within the guidance may lead to more confusion amongst prescribers and more uncertainty for patients.
We remain optimistic that every CCG will see the benefit for patients and follow the National Guidance to align with this expectation.”
The changes to gluten-free prescribing can be read here.