Gluten-free foods

Following a national consultation, there are new guidelines restricting the prescribing of gluten-free foods to certain brands of bread and mixes. All other gluten-free or very low gluten food items, including biscuits, cakes, cereals, cooking aids, grains and pasta, will no longer be available on the NHS. This means your GP will only be able to prescribe from a specific list of breads and mixes; they will not be able to prescribe other gluten-free items and pharmacies will no longer dispense them.

A wide range of gluten-free foods, including breads and flours, will remain available to buy from supermarkets along with other naturally gluten-free foods such as potatoes, rice, vegetables, rice noodles etc. You can find out more about gluten-free diets from Coeliac UK.

Gluten-free bread remains available on prescription as it costs more than equivalent breads in supermarkets, and bread is considered to be a staple food in the UK. Providing some support towards the increased cost of maintaining a gluten-free diet helps make the average weekly food bill similar to that of the rest of our population.

NHS England has provided a list of frequently asked questions for the prescribing of gluten-free foods in primary care.