Armed Forces: Coeliac Disease

Defence written question – answered on 20th December 2012.

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Photo of Kevan Jones Kevan Jones Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's rules are for deployment of serving personnel who are diagnosed with coeliac disease while in service.

Photo of Mark Francois Mark Francois The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

holding answer 18 December 2012

Service personnel who present significant conditions of the alimentary system such as coeliac, which either degrades the functional capacity and performance, and/or fails to respond satisfactorily to treatment, may require to be downgraded non-deployable, or recommended for medical discharge. Each case is considered on its individual merit.

Service supply chains cannot guarantee access to a gluten free diet for service personnel in all circumstances, especially on operations. It is not possible to guarantee an individual's ability to self police an exclusion diet through labelling or identification of trigger constituents. This poses an unacceptable risk to the individual, and to their colleagues on operations.

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