Letter: Gluten free - Health cost will outweigh savings

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Your readers need to know that the Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group are currently proposing to withdraw gluten-free foods on prescription from about 300 people in the area with Coeliac disease. ‘That’s alright, they can buy their food from the supermarket’, you may think. Well, some of them can and will, and others will not be able to afford to.

Many will not be able to shop in supermarkets that have gluten-free food on the shelves, particularly those in the rural areas. I suggest that the immediate savings of this ill-considered move (estimated at about £90,000 a year), will quickly be outweighed by the additional costs of managing the health complications, such as anaemia and osteoporosis, suffered by patients not adhering to their strict dietary requirements. The end-result will be greater costs for our hard-pressed NHS. If you agree with this view, please respond to the current consultation being run by HaRDCCG. This can be found at http://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/glutenfreeprescribing

Marilyn Larner

Franklin Mount, Harrogate