To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of the reduction in the prescribing of gluten-free foods on low income families where a member of the family suffers from coeliac disease.
The Department carried out an analysis of this issue as part of its Equalities Impact Assessment which was published as part of the consultation on the ‘Availability of Gluten Free Foods on Prescription in Primary Care’ launched in March 2017. A copy of the Equality Impact Assessment: Following the consultation ‘Availability of Gluten Free Food on Prescription in Primary Care’ is attached. We looked at the equality impact assessment and the consultation responses and as a result made the decision to retain gluten free bread and mixes on National Health Service prescription. This will help mitigate the risk that those on lower incomes are not able to purchase their own gluten free foods from retail outlets where evidence shows price is often higher and availability more limited.