Gluten Free Prescribing

Gluten free prescribing consultation

Welcome to our consultation

Thank you for participating in our survey. Your feedback is important. There are 10 questions and it should take about 5 minutes to complete. All your answers are confidential and you will not be identified. 

Why were are consulting
The Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) would like to introduce changes to the current guidance for GPs on prescribing gluten free food. The change would be to discontinue prescribing gluten free foods for most people.

This has been prompted by the wider availability of gluten-free food and NHS budget pressures - as well creating fairness between all users of the NHS. The NHS does not provide food on prescription for all patients that require a specialist diet including those with food intolerances
(lactose, wheat) and food allergies (egg, fish, shellfish, peanut, sesame, soya and tree nut).

Current situation
Gluten-free (GF) foods can only be prescribed to people who have been formally diagnosed with gluten sensitive enteropathies, which include coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis.

Current guidance recommends eight units per person per month. The gluten free foods currently available on prescription are:

  • Bread, rolls, and baguettes (400g is equal to one unit)
  • Mixes (250g is equal to one unit).

Who has gluten free foods on prescription
One per cent of the population (1 in 100 people) have Coeliac disease. Much less than this number appear to be using prescribed gluten free food. According to GP records in Buckinghamshire:

  • 355 people are collecting gluten free foods on prescription.
  • Most are female (214)
  • 56 are under the age of 18 years
  • 4 have a learning disability

The cost of this to the NHS is £111k (2018/19).

Potential impact 
Prior to consultation we engaged with community groups, dieticians and other professionals to understand the impact of any changes to the current situation. This included Coeliac UK and patients. This feedback has been used to produce an Equality Impact Assessment (EQA) and Quality Impact Assessment (QIA). Links to the EQI and QIA are on this page.

About the consultation
This consultation is open for 8 weeks. From Wednesday 16 October until Wednesday 11 December 2019. All feedback will be collated into a report and considered by the Buckinghamshire CCG's Governing Body before a decision is made.

This consultation is now closed.


  • Opened
    16 Oct 2019 at 10:00
  • Closed
    11 Dec 2019 at 23:59
  • Response Published
    10 Feb 2020