Food on prescription:
One of the things I didn't realise for quite a while after Alex was diagnosed with Coeliac's was that not only can you get medication on prescription on the NHS, you can also get FOOD on prescription. Seriously! Food that you can eat!! And it's not like finding greens hidden under your lovely mashed potato when you were a kid, there's no medicine hiding in the prescribable food, it's just standard gluten-free staples.
None of our health professionals highlighted that this was possible, it was only through reading some of the bumph that we got from the food companies suggesting that we request their product from our GP that it began to dawn on us that, yes, your GP can prescribe gluten-free products.
Do I? Don't I? Do I? Don't I?
This has given me a big dilemma. I find it strange that I can get a prescription for pasta, flour and pizza bases filled at the local chemist. I have felt uncomfortable in asking for a prescription for gluten-free food and in getting it filled, although it is something I have done a few times now.
This is my thought process (and I'm not saying my thoughts are right or wrong, or judging anyone for any decisions they have made in relation to this, I'm still not sure where I stand!!)
Reasons against me getting GF food on prescription:
- It's not medicine.
- It feels uncomfortable asking for the NHS to pay for food for my child that I would have to buy anyway.
- Surely there are greater priorities for healthcare budgets, when so many services are being cut?
- It's a bit of a pain going to the GP to get repeat prescriptions (yes, exceptionally lazy, I know), and I would feel stupid booking a GP appointment to change the prescription (I've only ever requested a prescription at the end of an appointment for a 'real' health issue.)
Reasons for me getting GF food on prescription:
- There is no medicine for Coeliac's, you have no choice but to eat gluten-free.
- Gluten-free food is stupidly expensive. (Fresh bread works out at about 30p a slice- and they're small slices! GF food is 3-4 times more expensive than 'normal' food.)
- If Alex didn't eat gluten-free food, she would cost the NHS a lot more money in terms of medical needs.
- Why look a gift-horse in the mouth?!
PS: I had no suitable photo for this post, so here's a completely gratuitous photo of my girlies!!