Luton Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS Luton Clinical Commissioning Group

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Gluten-free foods and over the counter medicines

Public consultation outcome 2018

As part of Luton CCG’s ongoing efforts to ensure it is commissioning quality, effective and good value services, difficult decisions have to be taken to prioritise funding.
We held a 90-day local public consultation on whether the CCG should continue funding prescriptions of Gluten-free foods and medicines that can be bought over-the-counter.
Following the consultation, the results were presented on 8 May 2018 to the CCG Board to decide on the future provision of these services.

How widely did we consult

Luton is home to people from many different nationalities, cultures, and religions. To ensure that the impact of any potential changes in prescribing in Luton was fully assessed before any decisions were made, we consulted with a wide range of healthcare professionals - GPs, pharmacists, adult and children dieticians, Coeliac UK, voluntary and support groups as well as patients and the public.

The consultation was extensively communicated to the local community, including:

A press release to local media and posted on Luton CCG’s website and social media

A blog inviting people to have their say by, Tess Dawoud, a pharmacist and the CCG’s Deputy Head of Medicines Optimisation, published on the website and social media.

A social media campaign on Twitter and Facebook, with a link to a discussion on the Health Show of BBC Three Counties Radio.

A video in British Sign Language explaining the consultation and how deaf people could participate was promoted on Facebook and posted on our You Tube channel.

Another video in Urdu – after English it is the most widely spoken language in Luton.

We worked in partnership with Healthwatch who hosted a public meeting to discuss the recommendation.

Members of the public were invited to complete a questionnaire (online or paper) with the full consultation document available on request. The consultation received 275 responses.

The results of the consultation

In May 2018, a full report on the consultation findings, comments and suggestions, together with recommendations were presented at the Luton CCG Board meeting.

Results were published on our website and showed a small majority in favour of the recommendation to withdraw funding for gluten-free products, but a much larger majority in support of the recommendation to end the prescribing of over-the-counter medicines. The results can be found here.

The Board decided there was enough evidence to support a change in prescribing policy in Luton and the decision was publicised through a press release to the local media on our website.

Information has also been shared widely on the CCG’s social media channels and via GP surgeries.

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