Prescribing of gluten free foods to continue during COVID-19 emergency

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Prescribing of gluten free foods to continue during COVID-19 emergency

Due to the COVID-19 emergency NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) has taken the decision to postpone plans to stop the routine prescribing of gluten free foods.

The decision was taken in recognition of the additional challenges patients may be facing as a result of government guidelines to stay at home – for example shopping for gluten free foods, accessing deliveries and self-isolation.

This is a temporary measure to support individuals formally diagnosed with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis during very difficult and unprecedented times.

The decision to postpone plans will be reviewed in August 2020, and following that on a monthly basis until an appropriate schedule for implementation can be put in place. At this stage we will share our plans with patients, GPs, Dietitians, Community Pharmacy’s and other stakeholders including Coeliac UK.

The decision to stop routinely prescribing gluten free foods in Buckinghamshire was originally taken by the Governing Body on 12 March 2020. This was with the exception that gluten free bread, bread mixes and flour mixes will only be available to prescribe for patients that meet the exception criteria of ‘dietary neglect’.

The Board acknowledged that some patients are vulnerable and therefore more at risk of dietary neglect. Examples of vulnerable patients who may be at risk of dietary neglect may include those with safeguarding concerns or presenting with malnutrition.

For further information please contact the Medicines Management Team at NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning group by emailing bucks.mmt@nhs.net