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Scottish pharmacists urged to feed back on gluten-free scheme

Community Pharmacy Scotland says it will work with the government to evaluate the survey's outcomes

Pharmacists should complete a survey of the Scottish gluten-free service to help the government decide whether it should continue, says Community Pharmacy Scotland

Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) is encouraging pharmacists to help the government decide the future of its gluten-free service.

The negotiating body urged pharmacists to respond to the Scottish government survey on the service, for which pharmacists are paid £125 a month to dispense gluten-free products without a prescription, to decide whether it should continue.

CPS said it was important pharmacists responded to the survey to give the government a “true picture of the service”, originally introduced as a 12-month trial last April before being extended until September 2015. 

The survey would ensure the government "enhanced service provision" by acting upon the views of the profession and patients who had benefitted from the expertise of community pharmacy, said CPS pharmacy services manager Matt Barclay.

CCPS hoped to work with the Scottish government to evaluate the results of the survey and use this feedback to improve the service, he added.

Pharmacists and patients have until March 31 to complete the survey, and the government said its evaluation of the service was expected in the summer. The questionnaire should take "no longer than 10 minutes" and responses would be anonymous, it stressed.


Should the gluten-free service be commissioned permanently? 

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information


Leon The Apothecary, Student

Is a gluten-free service something that is required within a pharmacy considering gluten-free products are easily obtainable and readily available?

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Well these are the few reasons why the NHS is going Bankrupt. People would love to get anything and everything free and when it comes to NHS they will find ways to get them either on prescription or through a PGD. I get people walking in the Pharmacy in top end cars with the most expensive mobile phone in hand and ordering free GF food :-( Imagine the kind of burden it is putting on us in England as we not only fund for the "0" prescription charges in Scotland but also all these free services, which are totally avoidable costs.

John Urwin, Community pharmacist

I'm sure availability is high in affluent metropolitan areas with a large population of worried well who are daft enough to think GF foods benefit non coeliacs. BUT that is not the whole of Britain and access to GF foods is poor in many rural areas, never mind the significant price premium for GF. GF food is available on prescription because adherence to a gluten free diet is so important for coeliac patients. Without NHS supply economic pressures would make it impossible for some people to maintain a necessary GF diet leading to greater long-term NHS costs . For this reason there is nothing new about GF food on the NHS. It is not an England v Scotland issue. The GF Food scheme in Cumbria has seen a reduction in cost to the NHS for GF food, coupled with a reduced workload for GP surgery, pharmacy and patient. NO's people in expensive cars probably have a prepayment certificate. Is he proposing to ban them for the wealthy?

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