Type-1 diabetics ‘missing out on life-changing glucose monitors’
NOV 08, 2018- BBC –
Tens of thousands of type-1 diabetics in England are being denied access to a “life-changing” blood sugar monitor due to a postcode lottery, data suggests.
The Freestyle Libre, used by Prime Minister Theresa May, was made available on the NHS last November.
But an investigation by the BMJ found a quarter of local NHS groups in England were not recommending the devices for patients.
Health bosses said the “NHS does not have unlimited resources”.
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Flash glucose monitors work via a sensor attached to the skin and allow people to check their blood sugar levels by using the device with a portable reader or a smartphone app.
They reduce the need for finger-prick blood tests and can make it easier for diabetics to manage their condition.
But Freedom of Information requests made by the BMJ found that while some clinical commissioning groups have made the devices available to hundreds of patients, others have not made them available to anyone.
Based on the data received by the BMJ, Partha Kar, NHS England’s associate national clinical director for diabetes, estimates that just 3-5% of patients with type-1 diabetes in England are currently able to get the monitors on the NHS.
If CCGs were following NHS England guidance correctly, this figure should be closer to 20-25%, if not higher, he said.
Mr Par said some CCGs were merely paying “lip service” to offering the monitors.
About 400,000 people in the UK are estimated to have type-1 diabetes. About 29,000 of them are…