Posted by Amanda Crawford at 23/01/2017 10:21:30
Gluten free food on prescription – last opportunity to take part in consultation – 25 January 2017
Residents across west Kent are being given a final chance to have their say on proposals by NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to stop the routine prescription of gluten-free products for people with coeliac disease. A public discussion is being held at the Angel Centre in Tonbridge from 6.30-8.30pm on Wednesday 25 January, people will have the chance to join the debate with representatives from the CCG. No booking is necessary and there is plenty of room.
The consultation launched in November and staff have been out and about across west Kent listening to local people, to hear their views on the proposals. As of 18 January 421 people have responded, the consultation documents with survey are also available from children’s and community centres, GP practices, hospital waiting rooms and Gateways. The document and survey is also online www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WKglutenfree. You have until 29 January when the consultation closes, to have your say.
NHS West Kent CCG spends over £130,000 a year on prescriptions for gluten free products. This started 30 years ago when gluten-free foods were not as readily available as they are today and food and diets weren’t so widely understood and documented.
Even with much greater availability of gluten-free products in shops and online, NHS West Kent CCG has continued giving prescriptions for a limited number of standard gluten-free items per month for patients who have the condition. These standard products include: fresh and long-life bread, flour mix, plain savoury crackers, pasta and pure oats breakfast cereal. Depending on age, a patient can receive up to 18 items per month, with extra items allowed for breastfeeding women and women in the third trimester of pregnancy.
With a limited budget and an increasing demand for services, NHS West Kent CCG is evaluating every service it pays for and making decisions about the best value for all its patients.
Dr Bob Bowes, Chair of NHS West Kent CCG, the body of GPs and other healthcare professionals responsible for commissioning healthcare services across west Kent said:
“We’ve had a good response our consultation so far but would encourage those that would like to give their views to either come to the meeting on the 25 January or to fill out the questionnaire online. We will use the responses we receive to inform our final decision on these proposals.”
The consultation will run to the 29 January 2017, the results of the consultation will be reported to the Governing Body of the CCG so they can take a final decision on the proposals.
NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group plans and buys healthcare for the people of Maidstone, Tonbridge and Malling, Tunbridge Wells and the southern part of Sevenoaks.