A new technology that is potentially life-changing for many people with diabetes will soon be available in Calderdale.
After Diabetes UK successfully campaigned to make flash glucose monitoring available on the NHS last year, health leaders from NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have approved its use, which means some people with Type 1 diabetes who meet local criteria will be able to get it free of charge on prescription for the first time.
Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. Many people with diabetes need to self-monitor their blood glucose levels.
This is usually done with a finger prick blood test using a meter that indicates the blood glucose level at the time of the test.
Flash glucose monitoring is a different technology which uses a small sensor that people wear on their skin. The sensor continuously reads and stores the last eight hours of glucose readings which can be read by scanning the sensor when required. It can free people from the pain of much of their frequent finger prick testing, making it easier to keep on top of sugar levels.
The device can help with better control of the condition and reduce the risk of serious diabetes-related complications such as stroke.
Rachel Martin, Improving Care Manager at Diabetes UK, said: “It’s really good news that people in Calderdale who can benefit from Flash will be able to get this new technology free of charge on prescription. This sadly isn’t the case for everyone living with diabetes across the country.
“We believe everyone with diabetes should have access to the right technology to support them, not just those who can afford it. We are calling on local decision makers across the country to ensure everyone with diabetes who could benefit from Flash get it, no matter where they live.”
Dr Nigel Taylor, GP Prescribing Lead for Calderdale CCG said: “Work is underway to make Flash Glucose Monitoring available to some people with Type 1 Diabetes in Calderdale through an NHS prescription. This should be available in the next month or so.
“Flash Glucose Monitoring will not be available from GPs on prescription; instead patients can discuss their suitability for this technology at their next routine appointment with a specialist from our diabetes team supporting patients in Calderdale.
“Full details, along with the criteria for prescribing this technology can be found by searching for ‘Flash Glucose Monitoring’ on the Calderdale CCG website.”
For more informationi on Flash go to www.diabetes.org.uk/get_involved/campaigning/flash-glucose-monitoring or phone Diabetes UK helpline on 0345 123 2399, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org