"Gap in information between GP and dietetics team"

About: Adult community services / Nutrition and dietetics

(as the patient),

I was recently diagnosed with coeliac disease.

My doctor seemed confused about the referral process for getting the right prescriptions. At first they told me I could get no gluten free food on prescription. I feel like there was a real gap between the doctors and the dietetic team. I was then told to make an appointment with the dietetic team still thinking I could not get any gluten free food.

It was then a nice surprise to find out that I could, but I had to order through the dietetic team. This was great news but why couldn't my doctor have told me that this was the procedure?

It was quite stressful thinking about how I am going to be able to afford the food, all for no reason.

When I did see a member of the dietetic team, although they were really nice, the information they gave me was so general I could have looked it up on the internet.

It would also have been useful if they could have provided me with a list of the products I can order on prescription. I usually just have to get the person on the end of the phone to list the items.

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Responses

Response from Grace Oldfield, Patient Involvement Manager, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

Dear knowledge56, thank you for sharing your feedback on Patients Opinion about your recent experience around the process for obtaining gluten free products on prescription. Your comments have been forwarded onto our Nutritional & Dietetics Service and when I have a response I will contact you again.

With best wishes,

Grace

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Response from Grace Oldfield, Patient Involvement Manager, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

“Dear knowledge56, I have now heard from the Lead Dietitian for Gastroenterology Services, who has had an opportunity to look into the apparent confusion around the process for obtaining dietetic prescriptions with your GP and the dietetic information available to support your newly diagnosed condition.

Firstly, with regard to the referral process for gluten free products on prescription, this was an initiative brought about by the Rotherham Primary Care Trust to improve the quality of patient care and was transferred over to our Nutrition & Dietetic Service in September last year at which time all GPs were notified of the changes and information about this was circulated. We are also able to confirm that the Community Dietetic Team do meet with different GP practices to provide updates, changes around referrals to dietitians and arrangements for dietetic prescriptions for gluten free products would be one of the areas highlighted. In addition to this, update articles are also written in communication newsletters from the team along with other relevant community newsletters.

Secondly, your query relating to the information you were given being general. Whilst there is a lot of detailed information on the internet regarding gluten free diets; the advice given from the dietitian is tailored specifically to individual needs. Often there is a lot of information to pass on and our dietitians are very much aware that it can sometimes be overwhelming following diagnosis. However, at the review appointment, we discuss how the patient has found the changes and address any problems that have been encountered. All our dietitians receive regular updates and educational sessions to improve their evidence base of knowledge and discuss changes required and we will look at how this can be incorporated into the patient consultation more

Also, our dietitians have produced a product list of gluten free foods available on dietetic prescription for patients which will we review and update annually to include new products. This list is to be sent out with prescriptions to existing patients and will also be added to the new patient information packs that are being developed.

We do hope this response goes some way into explaining that we try hard to provide quality care and support for patients using our service and very much appreciate patient feedback. However, should you wish to discuss any further queries, perhaps you would like to contact the department of Nutrition and Dietetics on 01709 424297.

Best wishes,

Grace

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