This post is about Gluten-free (GF) products on the NHS.
NHS Bradford City and NHS Bradford Districts CCGs are organisations which are responsible for commissioning your NHS healthcare. Commissioning involves decisions about local need and how best to use the limited NHS finances. As you know the NHS is under enormous financial pressure due to ever increasing demand for services and rising costs. This means that decisions have to be made on what to fund and what not to fund.
NHS Bradford City and NHS Bradford Districts CCGs have now decided that:
- It can no longer fund the prescribing of gluten-free (GF) food on prescription.
- This will come into effect from 1 December 2016
- After this date you will not be able to obtain any gluten free food products on an NHS prescription
Why is this happening?
The NHS first allowed GF foods on prescription at a time when these products were hard to buy in shops. Nowadays, even people who do not have coeliac disease, now choose to follow a GF diet. This increase in demand means that GF products are widely available, the quality of products is better as well as a reduction in cost. The NHS typically pays 6-10 times more than what you can buy the products for at your local supermarket. As the NHS has only limited funds it has to spend this wisely. The NHS spends £25 million a year on prescribing GF food and these savings will be invested into other patient services.
Gluten is naturally present in wheat, rye and barley but it is not essential to diet and can be replaced by other foods. There are a number of naturally GF carbohydrates which are widely available that can be used instead without the need to buy specific gluten-free replacement products . Examples include rice, potatoes and flour alternatives such as millet and corn flour. We strongly recommend that you continue to avoid gluten in your diet – More information can be found on the NHS Choices website at :
We understand that many of you will be disappointed by this decision but please also understand the need to make wise decisions about NHS money and what it is spent on. This decision is set in stone and all GP surgeries in Bradford are required to follow this decision.
Any further queries should be addressed to the CCG and not your GP practice. You can contact the CCG :
- via email: BradfordCCGsPatientSupport@bradford.nhs.uk or
- write to: patient support manager, NHS Bradford City and NHS Bradford Districts CCGs, Douglas Mill, Bowling Old Lane, Bradford BD5 7JR.
However, we hope you understand their rationale behind the decision.