Gluten Free Products on the NHS
NHS Bradford City and NHS Bradford Districts CCG's are organisations which are responsible for commissioning your healthcare. Commissioning involves decisions about local need and how best to use the limited NHS finances. As you know, the NHS is under enormous financial pressure due to ever increasing demand for services and rising costs. This means that decisions have to be made on what to fund and what to fund.
NHS City and NHS Bradford Districts CCG's have now decided that:
- It can no longer fund the prescribing of gluten-free (GF) food on prescription.
- This will come into effect from 1st January 2017
- After this date you will not be able to obtain any gluten free food products on an NHS prescription.
Why is this happening?
The NHS first allowed GF foods on prescription at a time when these products were hard to buy in shops. Nowadays, even people who do not have Coeliac disease, now chose to follow a GF diet. This increase in demand means that GF products are widely available, the quality of products is better as well as a reduction in cost. The NHS typically pays 6-10 times more than what you can buy the products for in your local supermarket. As the NHS has only limited funds it has to spend this wisely. The NHS spends a £25 million a year on prescribing GF foods. locally the NHS will save more than £320,000, which they need to invest in other patient services.
We understand that many people will be disappointed by this decision but please understand the need to make wise decisions about NHS money and what it is spent on. GP surgeries in Bradford are required to follow the CCG decision.
Any queries should be addressed to the CCG and NOT your GP practice. You can contact the CCG via email on BradfordCCGsPatientSupport@Bradford.nhs.uk or write to: Patient Support Manager, NHS Bradford City and NHS Bradford Districts CCGs, Douglas Mill, Bowling Old Lane, Bradford, BD5 7JR. However, we hope you understand the rationale behind the decision.