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Cutback on gluten-free bread will cost more in the long run

Readers' letters | Published:

It is with much regret that those who suffer from coeliac disease have learned that the decision has finally been made to stop the prescribing of gluten-free bread to them.

The Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group has apparently been engaging with people over its proposals to cut this extremely important basic requirement of anyone’s diet, let alone those who cannot, for medical reasons, take a regular diet of gluten foods.

Were any of the 800 registered patients in Shropshire asked to meet with the CCG? I haven’t heard of anyone having had such an invitation – and yes, while there have been online options to express our views on the subject (but not everyone has this facility) obviously these have not been taken notice of.

It is reported that around £50,000 per year can be saved by not issuing the prescriptions, and the money can be invested in priority areas. What will these priority areas be? It will be interesting to hear of them.

No patient with coeliac disease will probably now be offered their regular follow-up appointments at their doctor to check all is well; will a patient now risk eating normal gluten bread because of the very high cost of the bread, and in time suffer the consequences? In the long run, it will cost more to care for a patient with bowel cancer because they are eating gluten bread than the pennies it will cost to keep each person safe and healthy.

It is a sad reflection on the times where those of us who can’t help having such a disease as this are pushed aside to enable money spent on other projects that quite clearly may not be in the best interests of anyone. I look forward to hearing where the cost of my eight loaves a month goes to.

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