|People in Hertfordshire with coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis will no longer be
prescribed gluten-free foods like bread, pasta and flour mixes.
|Does this change affect everyone?|
|The new policy applies to everyone, including those who get free prescriptions. Clinical
exceptions are for people with a learning disability who do not have a carer to help them
manage their diet or people with safeguarding concerns
|Why will gluten-free foods no longer be prescribed?|
|We reviewed and updated our policy for prescribing gluten-free foods after a consultation
in the summer (July to September 2017) on a proposal to stop these foods being
prescribed. The vast majority of people who responded to our consultation supported the
This new policy is part of a package of measures we are taking to help make best use of
NHS resources. Gluten-free foods can be bought easily without a prescription from most
pharmacies and supermarkets.
|Are gluten-free products that I buy in shops and online the same quality as those on
|Yes – by law foods can only be labelled gluten-free if they have extremely low levels of
gluten. The label is a sign that these foods are suitable for a gluten-free diet and will be of
similar quality to the products the NHS has been buying.
|I cannot afford to buy gluten-free foods as I am on a low income. How will the change
|Patients on a low income will no longer get gluten-free foods on prescription because this
policy applies to everyone living in Hertfordshire, including those who get free
prescriptions. This includes:
|If I can no longer get gluten-free foods on prescription how will I manage my coeliac
|You can manage coeliac disease by excluding foods from your diet that contain gluten.
Gluten is a protein that’s found in wheat, rye and barley for example. There are plenty of
foods that don’t contain gluten.
Further information and advice about following a gluten-free diet is available on the NHS
choices website at www.nhs.uk and from Coeliac UK’s website www.coeliac.org.uk.
|Which foods are naturally gluten-free?|
|There are a wide variety of foods which you can eat that are naturally gluten- free such as
fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh meat, fresh fish, fresh poultry, eggs, milk, rice, fresh
potatoes, pulses and beans.
|Where can I buy gluten-free products?|
|Most supermarkets sell gluten-free foods at competitive prices in-store and online. You can
also buy pharmacy-only brands from pharmacies without a prescription.
|Where can I get support?|
|Patients with coeliac disease are entitled to request an annual review with their GP.
Coeliac UK offers excellent support for patients who need to adhere to a gluten-free diet by
helping you to manage your diet and keep up-to-date with the latest developments. Visit
their website at www.coeliac.org.uk or contact the local group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|How will this policy change affect people who have coeliac-type symptoms but have not
yet been tested or diagnosed?
|Gluten-free foods have only been available on prescription for people who had a confirmed
diagnosis of coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis.
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