North Somerset people should get gluten-free prescriptions – Coeliac UK
PUBLISHED: 13:53 23 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:35 25 February 2017
A charity which helps people with coeliac disease has opposed cuts to gluten-free prescriptions in North Somerset, saying it will ultimately cost the NHS.
North Somerset’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has teamed up with South Gloucester CCG to see whether it should stop funding prescriptions for gluten-free food.
The two CCGs spend £315,000 a year on gluten-free prescriptions but want to stop these prescriptions for over-18s while offering only a limited number of basic foods – such as pasta and bread – to under-18s.
Chief executive of Coeliac UK Sarah Sleet said gluten-free food is essential for people with coeliac disease. She is concerned the cuts would affect society’s poorest, as gluten-free foods can be six times more expensive.
She added: “For someone medically diagnosed with coeliac disease there is no choice but to stick to a gluten-free diet.
“Research published in 2015 found budget supermarkets, most frequented by people on lower incomes and an essential lifeline in rural communities, stocked no gluten-free food.”