Posted by Caroline Walker at 16/04/2018 09:32:54
In February 2018, the Department of Health and Social Care announced its preference for a limited range of gluten-free products to be available on routine prescription. In light of the announcement, the NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) governing body reviewed the decision it made in July 2017, to ask GPs no longer routinely prescribe gluten-free products, at its meeting on 27 March 2018.
The governing body agreed to uphold its previous decision and continue to recommend that west Kent GPs no longer prescribe gluten-free products for people with coeliac disease and other gluten-sensitive illnesses. NHS funding will continue for gluten-free products for people with Phenylketonuria (PKU) who need specific low protein food.
Dr Bob Bowes, chair of the CCG, comments:
‘When making our original decision, we took into account 505 people’s views gathered through public consultation, 59 per cent of whom had coeliac disease or cared for someone with the disease. We also considered whether the money spent on gluten-free prescriptions can be spent on other services without having a significant impact on the health of those affected.
‘Due to the unprecedented demand on limited budgets, the CCG is now faced with more difficult choices than ever before and it is our duty to do the best we can for the whole of our population with the money available.’