After talking with patients and clinicians, NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group has agreed to withdraw gluten-free food on prescription from 1 December, 2015.
NHS Norwich CCG’s Chief Nurse and Director of Quality, Strategy and Innovation, Sheila Glenn, said: “Whilst we recognise that people who are used to receiving gluten-free food on prescription will be disappointed, we believe this is the right decision. Gluten free food is now widely available in many supermarkets.”
GP Practices have been requested to pass on a letter to patients who they believe will be affected by this decision (the CCG does not have the names or addresses of these patients for data confidentiality reasons).
The withdrawal of gluten-free food on prescription would save the NHS around £250,000 in total. The cost of just the food itself is about £93,000 which NHS Norwich CCG has to pay for. The rest - about £150,000 - is the cost of procuring, dispensing and handling which NHS England has to pay for.
The CCG has advised GP Practices of this decision and requested that up to 1 December 2015 they should issue prescriptions for supplies that will last up to or around that date.