Sunderland Guidance on Prescribing Gluten Free Products

The Sunderland guideline on gluten free prescribing has been updated and now includes a detailed list of products which can be prescribed. The change is part of the recent regional agreement to reduce the quantity and range of products available on prescription. It is as a result of these products being widely available to buy whilst supporting patients to follow a gluten free diet. The guideline can be found online here

Prescribing requirements for NHS supply
 Gluten-free staple items such as flour and bread were first made available on FP10 prescription in the late 1960s. Previously there was limited access to these special foods other than via the NHS. Only gluten-free staple foods that are approved by the ACBS can be prescribed for people with a medical diagnosis of coeliac disease.
 More recently there has been greater access to GF products available in supermarkets and prices that were previously high are more comparable to standard equivalent gluten containing branded products.
 Many patients continue to receive supplies on FP10 at substantial greater expense to the NHS than equivalent supermarket products.
 It is acknowledged that for many patients the cost of GF products can continue to place a strain on family budgets and Sunderland CCG have, therefore, agreed to continue to support patients with Coeliac disease by provision of some basic GF foods on prescription to help them adhere to a gluten-free diet.
 The guidance is designed to ensure patients receive a supply of staple foods on the NHS and to acknowledge that there is still a level of price differential between standard and GF products. The revised level of supply is intended to compensate for any residual price differential rather than provide the full quantities at NHS expense that are outlined in Coeliac UK’s National Prescribing
Guidelines for GF food on NHS prescription.
 Prescriptions should only be given for staples, that is flour and bread. Bread is accepted as a staple food in the UK and the gluten free breads are more costly than the gluten containing equivalents in the supermarkets. The addition of flour (including multipurpose flour and bread mixes) allows people to cook or bake other foods.
 Prescribing of pasta and pizza bases is not recommended as these foods are available from supermarkets at a similar cost to their gluten containing equivalents
 Prescribing is not recommended for items considered to be treats like GF cakes and biscuits.
 Patients should be encouraged to maintain a healthy diet.
 Any non-essential or ‘luxury’ gluten free items should be purchased at supermarkets and health food stores where they are now readily available.