Information from the Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups regarding changes to the prescribing of gluten-free food.

All patients who have received a prescription for a gluten-free product in the previous six-months will receive a letter in due course informing them of the change in policy and will advise them of information, help and support they might find useful to help them manage a gluten-free diet. Until they have received their letter patients should process their prescriptions as they normally would.

The below information has been/will be sent to all Derbyshire residents who have recevied a gluten-free prescription in the past 6 months …


As part of their routine work to review contracts and financial commitments to ensure NHS resources are being used fairly, last year the four Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) began to review their policies on the provision of gluten-free products.

As part of this work, the views of Derbyshire residents and health and social care professionals were sought through public consultation last year.

Over the course of November 2017 and December 2017 each Governing Body considered the consultation feedback report, equality impact assessment and the views of the Joint Area Prescribing Committee (JAPC), the body responsible for developing prescribing guidelines.  After careful deliberation, each Governing Body independently agreed to no longer routinely commission the provision of gluten-free food supplements on NHS prescription.

In making their decision, the four CCGs also considered evidence that gluten is not essential to a healthy diet and can be replaced by other foods. They also recognised that there are a number of widely available, naturally gluten-free carbohydrates that can be used instead of foods like bread and pasta. These include rice, potatoes and flour alternatives such as millet and corn flour.


As someone who has received a prescription for a gluten-free product we are/will be writing to let you know that this change in prescribing policy means you will no longer be able to obtain gluten-free foods on NHS prescription.

This change comes at a time when gluten-free foods are now widely available in shops, supermarkets and online, manufacturers are changing recipes to avoid using wheat and food labelling has improved to make it easier to see whether ordinary food products are free from gluten and can be safely eaten.


Coeliac UK, the national charity for people with coeliac disease, provides excellent support and advice on following a gluten-free diet. They offer a wide range of materials and support to help you effectively and affordably manage a gluten-free diet, including a Food and Drink Directory which lists thousands of gluten-free products available in shops. Coeliac UK can be contacted on 0333 332 2033 or via

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend you have an annual review with your GP to discuss your diet and general health. If you are still under review by the dietitians and gastroenterologists at the hospital, you may also get support there.


If you have bought a Pre-Payment Certificate to help with the costs of your gluten-free items, you can obtain a refund for any months remaining before it expires. You can do this by completing and returning the Prescription Pre-Payment Certificate Refund Application Form along with your card by 1 May 2018. The form can be found on the Derbyshire Medicines Management website at  Alternatively you can call the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on the number below to request the form. Please note, if you also receive other prescriptions, you may wish to continue to use your Pre-Payment Certificate.


We understand that some people who have been managing their coeliac disease in a certain way for any period of time may be worried about how this change will affect them. If after reading this letter you feel you need more support or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Derbyshire CCGs Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) via any of the following channels:

T: 0800 032 32 35

Text mobile facility number: 07919 466 212



More information about the changes to prescribing policy in Derbyshire outlined in this letter is available at any of the following Clinical Commissioning Group websites:

Derbyshire CCGs acknowledge DHSC report – statement

© Healthwatch Derbyshire 2018

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