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To help people diagnosed with coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis manage a gluten free diet, the NHS provide access to staple gluten free foods on prescription. These foods are dispensed by your local pharmacy.
Access and availability to gluten free foods on prescription may vary depending on where you live. Please ask your GP or Pharmacist what the arrangements are in your Health & Social Care Trust (HSCT)
Gluten free alternatives to everyday staple foods are available on prescription in Northern Ireland. These include a selection of fresh, long-life and part-baked loaves and rolls, a range of all -purpose flour mixes, breakfast cereals, pasta, pizza bases and crackers.
Healthcare professionals measure staple gluten free food in units.
1 (400g) loaf of bread /
1 (5x85g) pack of rolls
1 (250g) pack pasta
1 (200g) pack of crispbread/crackers
1 (300g - 500g) pack of breakfast cereal
1 (500g) pack of Pure Oats
1 (500g) pack of all-purpose mix
1 (500g) pack of pasta
The approximate allowance of gluten free food a person requires for a month has been suggested by healthcare professionals and Coeliac UK.
no. of units
|Child 1-3 years||10|
|Child 4-6 years||11|
|Child 7-10 years||13|
|Child 11-14 years||15|
|Child 15-18 years||18|
|Male 19-59 years||18|
|Male 60-74 years||16|
|Male 75+ years||14|
|Female 19-74 years||14|
|Female 75+ years||12|
|3rd trimester pregnancy||Add 1 unit|
|Breastfeeding||Add 4 units|
Ref: Gluten-Free foods – a revised guide 2012
Gluten free prescriptions are free of charge in Northern Ireland.
Make an appointment to see your GP.
Discuss with your GP what your staple gluten free food needs are for a typical month.
Print off and complete this Food Diary to estimate how much gluten free food you use in a typical month
Ask about choosing a local community pharmacy to dispense your prescriptions.
Find your nearest community pharmacy here.
Ask about the arrangements for repeat prescriptions in your area.
Most prescriptions are repeated every month without the need to see your GP. If you would like your prescription more frequently then ask your GP.
Your local pharmacist is the healthcare professional responsible for dispensing your gluten-free prescription.
It normally takes 48 hours for a prescription to be ready for collection from your local community pharmacy.
Fresh bread has set delivery days.
Read more on fresh bread delivery arrangements.
The arrangements for making changes to your gluten free prescription will vary depending on where you live. If your GP has not explained the arrangements, then ask your pharmacist.
You can use this handy Request Form to give to your GP or Pharmacist.