NHS Sunderland CCG reviewed its policies for providing care for patients who require a gluten free diet.
In recent years, access to GF products has improved and prices that were previously high are now more comparable to equivalent gluten-containing products. However, many patients continue to receive supplies on FP10 at the expense of the NHS, though it should be acknowledged that for many patients the cost of GF products can continue to place a strain on family budgets.
Together with growing awareness and in many cases a preference by people without coeliac disease for GF foods, the availability of GF food in shops and supermarkets has increased. Changes to labelling have improved visibility and made it easier to achieve GF dietary compliance.
Given the current challenges facing the NHS, prescribers need to ensure a fair use of resources for all their patients.
Sunderland CCG engaged with patients and their families in Sunderland to help us to make the fairest possible decision on how we use the resources available.
An engagement exercise was held between July – August 2016. In total, 179 responses were received, most of which came from people with a diagnosis of coeliac disease. The engagement report can be found below: