Letters, calls and emails: Food prescriptions are drain on limited funds

Dear Editor

The headline of your article about enteral nutrition should read 'Inappropriate prescription of food is illegal' (GP, 19 October).

Dieticians should spend more time discussing nutritious ways of producing food for patients who need time to swallow, and palliative care specialists need to deal with patients with no appetite in other ways.

Care homes should liquidise food and sit with the patient to administer it.

In most cases, sip feeds should be bought by the patient and not prescribed; they do not cost more than a meal.

Food prescriptions in my area increased by 25 per cent last year, and are approaching £200,000 for a population of 160,000.

We must learn to say 'no' to inappropriate requests for food prescriptions, and not just to save the PCT money; inappropriate use of FP10s is a breach of trust.

Dr Richard Gallow, Prescribing lead, DacCom commissioning group, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.

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