2 Chapter 2: Review Methodology
A wide range of techniques was used to gather information and views on the GFFS trial. This included:
2.1.1 Three online survey questionnaires were prepared - for General Practitioners [Annex 1], community pharmacists [Annex 2] and patients [Annex 3]. The surveys were developed and then piloted in a group of people who represented the stakeholders that we were intending to participate in the surveys. This was to ensure validity of the questions asked and the ease to which stakeholders were likely to be able to respond. It was recognised that all questionnaires had to be short and concise to obtain engagement with stakeholders to respond.
In order to increase patient engagement with the process the patient questionnaire was also made available as a postal survey with community pharmacies providing the survey to patients when they came for their Gluten-free Food prescription. The GP and community pharmacy surveys were publicised through Health Boards and the patient survey through online sources, community pharmacy and Coeliac UK.
The response dates for the surveys were:
- GP Survey 3rd April 2015 to 30th April 2015
- Patients 1st March 2015 to 31st March 2015
- Community Pharmacists 1st March 2015 to 31st March 2015
2.2 Stakeholder Letters
2.2.1 A letter to Health Boards and stakeholder organisations [Annex 4] was sent inviting them to submit views in writing to specific questions on the GFFS trial. The letters focused on the stakeholder views on whether the aims of the trial service had been achieved, if the service should be made permanent and any improvements that should be considered if the service became permanent. Boards and stakeholder organisations were asked to return their responses by the 31st March 2015 providing them with 4 weeks to respond.
2.2.2 A letter to manufacturers of Gluten-free products along with the GFFS service aims was sent inviting any comments on the GFFS [Annex 5]. This was sent in May with a response deadline of 4 weeks to feedback their views on the trial service.
2.3 Face to face meetings with key stakeholder groups
2.3.1 A number of meetings were held with a number of individual stakeholders who were representative of a cross section of the key stakeholders. These included Coeliac UK, Scottish Dietetic Leadership Network, Community Pharmacy Scotland, National Services Scotland (NSS) and the Scottish General Practitioners Committee of BMA Scotland.
2.3.2 The intention was to gain a more in depth understanding of stakeholder views and any issues in respect to the GFFS trial that would not be captured within a questionnaire or letter with focussed questions. These discussions occurred during April to June and were found helpful in forming this report.
2.4 Pharmacy and Prescribing Information Analysis
2.4.1 An analysis of the NHS dispensed GFF in Scotland from 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2015 has been undertaken using information supplied by Information Services Division (ISD) of NSS plus information supplied through a specific analysis request for the evaluation. The analysis provides information on the number and cost of GFF dispensed information before and after the introduction of the GFFS. An analysis of the change in GFF dispensing through GP prescribing and through the new GFFS service including the change in patient choice of GFF food was also completed. In addition there was an analysis of the number of GFF included within local Health Board formularies.
2.4.2 Practitioner Services Division (PSD) of NSS made available information relating to the PCR held within Community Pharmacies. This information provides intelligence on the GFFS service conducted within Community Pharmacy including uptake of the service.
Email: Elaine Muirhead