Gluten Free Prescription Cuts In Somerset

Gluten Free Prescription Cuts In Somerset

From December, Somerset are set to cut prescriptions for gluten free food in an attempt for the NHS to save money, Is this a wide move or will it lead to more issues for Coeliacs.

Posted On: 18th October 2016
Tagged with: Gluten Free Products, NHS, Prescriptions, Somerset

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From December 1st the entire county of Somerset will be stopping all gluten free prescriptions. According to the BBC the county clinical commissioning group stated more than £350,000 is spent on food for people with Coeliac Disease every year, so in order to cut the cost the prescriptions will be dropped.

Coeliac UK are countering the plan to stop and stated that "Gluten free food prescribing is a low cost NHS prevention strategy" and that it "risked longer term costs to the NHS".

There have been plans in place for many months now to drop gluten free prescriptions all over the UK, some counties (primarily Yorkshire) have even trialled using a voucher scheme where the Coeliac sufferer receives a certain amount of funds in the form of vouchers to spend in supermarkets, redeemable against certain gluten free products.

Vale of York trialled the voucher scheme for 6 months with a selection of participants, since the trial we haven't really heard much in how it did and whether it would be an effective way of eliminating gluten free prescriptions, hopefully we will hear more on this in the coming months.

We're not sure whether there is going to be a replacement for the prescriptions in Somerset, Norfolk stopped gluten free prescriptions from July 2015 and never replaced it with the proposed voucher scheme leaving sufferers to fork out for gluten free staple foods they used to get on prescription.

This is sure to hit Coeliac sufferers in Somerset as hard as it did in Norfolk, leaving those on tight budgets with more expensive spending on products they could get cheaper on prescription.

With Coeliac UK fighting the Coeliac sufferers corner it's hard to see where this will end up but no doubt the clinical commissioning group plan on dropping all gluten free prescriptions in the UK eventually in an attempt to save NHS spending, whether this will work is another matter since gluten free prescriptions only covers a small part of NHS spend.

What are your thoughts on the gluten free prescriptions cuts? Are you one of the people that will be affected? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Your Comments

They have dropped prescriptions here in North East Essex for all except children. Living in small village those without transport can't get the the major supermarkets to be able to buy bread and the basics like cereal, flour.

Elderly particularly have problems and will be affecting their health. It would be good if Coeliac UK can help to get them to reconsider and all of us should try and fight as well.

kathy - 18th October 2016

I have been diagnosed with coeliac disease for many years and take sandwiches to work. I get through several loaves of bread per month. Yes, there are lots of GF products available in supermarkets, but the bread often costs more than double that of a normal loaf and they are a lot smaller! Many people especially those who are on low incomes will be hit hard by this!

Keith - 20th October 2016

I have been baking Gluten Wheat and Dairy cakes for over 3 years now and sell at local farmers markets and events in Somerset .I am amazed by the responce of how many people are either a Coeliac or Wheat intolerance .

Juliet hayes - 20th October 2016

The problem with not having gluten free flours, {that's all I get on prescription}is the high cost,
I will not be able to purchase the flour if the price is not reduced in line with the stopping of prescription.
Also the difference in price of bread Normal bread £1 a loaf, gluten free bread £3 a small loaf.

rose little - 25th October 2016

My 10 year old daughter is Coeliac and it is not her fault that she has this disease. On prescription we are able to get the basics, bread and bread rolls the latter of which is not sold in supermarkets. The cost is so high for GF food and I hope they will reconsider at least for children.

Sarah Martin - 8th November 2016

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