Publication - Corporate report

Review of the Gluten-free Food Additional Pharmaceutical Service

Published: 18 Sep 2015
Part of:
Health and social care

A review of the Gluten-free Food Additional Pharmaceutical Service being provided on a trial basis in NHS community pharmacies.

104 page PDF

1.9 MB

104 page PDF

1.9 MB

Review of the Gluten-free Food Additional Pharmaceutical Service

104 page PDF

1.9 MB


Letter to Health Boards and stakeholder organisations

Finance, EHealth and Pharmaceuticals Directorate
Pharmacy and Medicines Division

T: 0131-244 3433 F: 0131-244 2326

3 March 2015

Dear Colleague


As you may be aware, the Scottish Government commenced the national Gluten-free Food Service (GFF) as an Additional Pharmaceutical Service (APS) on a 12 month trial basis from April 2014. This trial has been extended to 18 months, ending on 30 September 2015 to allow an evaluation of a full year implementation of GFF APS.

I have agreed to lead a review of the trial service, to assess its success in meeting the aims, objectives and desired outcomes, and recommend if the service should continue following the trial period. A report will be submitted to the Scottish Government on the review outcomes by summer 2015.

It is intended to look at whether the new GFF APS has improved clinical benefit for appropriately diagnosed patients, is cost effective by comparison with the previous arrangements, plus the impact on participating parties, principally patients, General Practice and Community Pharmacy. Questionnaires for patients, pharmacists and GPs have been developed to gather the views of those major stakeholders involved in the GFFS APS. In addition, views will be gathered from a wide range of stakeholders on the trial service.

To help inform the review, I am writing to invite you to submit your views on the new GFFS by Tuesday 31 March 2015. A list of questions is attached as an Annex overleaf. All responses received will be considered for incorporation into the service evaluation report to the Scottish Government. If you have any questions about the review process, please do not hesitate to contact me on the email address:

Yours sincerely



Questions for stakeholder organisations

1. In your opinion, does the GFF APS meet the aims outlined in Appendix B of the NHS Scotland Circular: PCA (P) (2013) 29 to:

a. Support the provision of direct NHS pharmaceutical care to patients with coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis by providing a pharmacy led nationally consistent service;

b. Make optimum use of clinicians' skills and empower the patients to actively manage their own condition;

c. Improve the patient experience of obtaining GFFs on prescription by reducing the number of visits needed to GP surgeries;

d. Provide appropriate clinical monitoring for patients directly affected including dietetic intervention and annual pharmacy health check;

e. Provide more systematic nationally consistent management of patient needs;

f. Allow eligible and qualifying patients access to staple Gluten Free Food to access a convenient service customised to their needs which is also cost effective for NHS Scotland

g. Assist through collaborative working the better management of the demand on the time of all members of the primary care team involved in providing this service to patients

h. Remove the need for a GP to be involved in issuing multiple gluten free prescriptions once he/she has determined the unit allocation and the patient has registered with a pharmacy

i. Reduce the incidence of out of pocket expenses incurred as a consequence of community pharmacy dispensing of individual prescriptions for gluten free foods written by GPs.

2. Should the new GFF APS be retained on an ongoing basis?

3. Are there improvements or changes required to the trial GFF APS should the service be retained?

4. Are there any specific issues you would like to raise relevant to the evaluation of the trial GFF APS?

Responses are invited to be submitted by either post or email by 31 March 2015 to:

Margaret Ryan
Lead Clinician Prescribing Services
Queens Park House
Victoria Infirmary
Langside Road
G42 9TW
Telephone: 0141 201 5639


Email: Elaine Muirhead