Darwen food fair will offer gluten free choices to coeliacs affected by NHS prescription cuts

A FOOD fair is to offer gluten free choice for coeliacs affected by prescription cuts. The gluten free food fair in Darwen will offer people with coeliac disease more options for mealtimes, following cuts to food available on prescription locally. The event, organised jointly by the Preston and East Lancashire […]

A FOOD fair is to offer gluten free choice for coeliacs affected by prescription cuts.

The gluten free food fair in Darwen will offer people with coeliac disease more options for mealtimes, following cuts to food available on prescription locally.

The event, organised jointly by the Preston and East Lancashire groups of national charity Coeliac UK, takes place at Darwen Vale High School on Saturday, April 1.

There will be around 30 stalls selling everything from gluten free pasta to pies and beer to brownies with local producers bringing gluten free cookies, cupcakes, chutneys and sauces. There will also be freshly made gluten free fish and chips and freshly ground coffee.

Following a consultation East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) announced they will no longer support the prescribing of gluten free foods on the NHS.

From April individuals who require gluten free food will be expected to buy them themselves.

CCG bosses said there is now a wider variety of foods available at supermarkets, many carbohydrate foods are naturally gluten free and the foods are significantly more expensive when prescribed on the NHS.

Stephen Haworth, group organiser for the East Lancashire Coeliac UK group, said: “In the last few months coeliacs in Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire have received the news that they will no longer be able to access gluten free food on prescription.

“For many people who relied on getting their staples – such as bread, flour and pasta – in this way, these cuts by the local clinical commissioning groups will have come as a huge disappointment.

“Our gluten free food fair will showcase lots of local producers making quality gluten free food and drink, giving visitors plenty to sample and buy.”

Richard Flash, school leisure and sports manager at School Lettings Solutions which manages facilities at Darwen Vale High School, said: “Darwen Vale hosts a wide variety of public events and private functions too, but this is our very first gluten free food fair.

“I and my team are looking forward to helping the two groups run a successful event.”

To fair takes place between 10.30am and 2.30pm. For more information visit www.coeliac.org.uk/events.

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