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Cornish Charities Told Funding Is Being Cut

Cornish Charities Told Funding Is Being Cut

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 6:02am 7th October 2016. (Updated at 11:13am 7th October 2016)

A string of Cornish support services are told - they are going to stop getting NHS cash.

Health bosses say they have got to save millions of pounds and that also means they will stop paying for gluten free foods on prescription.

So teams that support people with mental health problems are being told they are among those whose grant is going.

Kernow Clinical Commissioning says it will also "disinvest" from the Cornwall Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre and the Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre's specialist counselling.

But it insists it will work with Cornwall Council to find a similar service that meets NHS guidelines.

Spokesperson Doctor Iain Chorlton said: "I want to be absolutely clear that we are not stopping these two  services - but we are recommending that we decommission them and commission a new service. We won't stop funding them until we have a new service in place.

"We have some very clear guidelines from NHS England that we should be commissioning a service that goes right across the age range and is able to provide services to both men and women.

"The two services we have just reviewed at the moment don't do that."

He said the CCG had to make big savings - or face losing control of its finances.

The NHS organisation, which commissions services, is £53m in the red.

It is reviewing 300 services which receive funding of less than £1m.

Carrick and Restormel Mind, which support those with mental health problems is also being told the bad news.

Spokesperson John Gladstone said: "Not having that service there is going to have a dramatic impact.

"Some of those people are going to end up going to their GP more often to get advice and support they would get from us. They may be phoning Out Of Hours and other support services more often."

The cuts will also mean people with coeliac disease can no longer get gluten free foods on prescription.

The CCG says it adds around £350,000 a year to its annual bill. But Coeliac UK Head of Campaigns, Lisa Bainbridge, said: "If you live in a rural area, if you have any kind of mobility problem, if you don't have a large supermarket nearby, you are going to struggle to get gluten free products at a price you can afford."

The CCG said: "The CCG spends £350,000 a year on prescription gluten-free foods for anyone diagnosed with coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis. This includes bread, pizza bases, biscuits and cereals, which are not essential components of a healthy diet.

"People can also manage their condition by eating foods that are naturally free starchy foods such as rice, potatoes, millet and corn flour - support is available from the NHS to help them manage their condition.

"It's also now far easier to buy gluten-free foods in most supermarkets, shops and online, and they can be bought far cheaper than what the NHS spends on a prescription.

"The average monthly cost to the NHS for gluten-free foods on prescription is £75, compared with £32 for the equivalent foods bought in ships."

"This doesn't make financial sense and is money we could spend on something with clinical benefit."

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