Nearly 30,000 people across the country with Type 1 diabetes have received patient diabetes monitors through the NHS Long Term Plan.
The innovative device, which is the size of a £2 coin and worn on the arm, means people with Type 1 diabetes do not have to carry out multiple finger-prick checks to monitor their blood sugar levels. Instead, they can monitor their blood sugar levels in a much more convenient way, making it easier for people to manage their blood sugar levels.
People with Type 1 diabetes who have low blood sugar levels are at risk of hypoglycaemia, which can involve seizures and a loss of consciousness. Those with high blood sugar levels can be at risk of serious long-term health conditions, such as blindness and heart problems if left untreated.
Ahead of schedule in delivering the NHS Long Term Plan commitment of a minimum of 50,000 people with the illness receiving the device, over half of those eligible are already in possession of patient diabetes monitors within the first three months.
This follows changes made in April that allows eligible people to get them on prescription, regardless of where they live in the country.
New data also shows the early success of the scheme funded by the NHS Long Term Plan with 28,453 patients in receipt of monitors and 177,521 monitors prescribed within the first three months. There are over 250,000 people with Type 1 diabetes in England.
The NHS is writing to local leaders to ensure this rapid uptake continues, medical directors are being urged to further build on the successful roll out to ensure people across the country reap the benefits of the life changing technology.
The NHS Long Term Plan also commits to rolling out continuous glucose monitors from April 2020 for every pregnant woman with Type 1 diabetes, in its latest step to harness the power of digital technology.
People who qualify for the monitor include:
- People with type 1 diabetes who need intensive monitoring (more than eight times every day) as demonstrated in a review over the past three months.
- People with diabetes associated with cystic fibrosis on insulin.
- Pregnant women with Type 1 diabetes for 12 months in total.
- People with Type 1 diabetes unable to routinely self-monitor blood glucose due to disability.
- People with Type 1 diabetes for whom the specialist diabetes multi-disciplinary team determines have occupational or psychosocial circumstances that warrant a six-month trial of Libre with appropriate support.
Prevention Minister, Jo Churchill said: “It is fantastic that tens of thousands of patients are already benefitting from the roll out of the latest wearable health technology, part of this government’s commitment to increase funding to support the NHS Long Term Plan.
“We are putting the power back in the hands of people with Type 1 diabetes, so they can more easily manage their condition, from their smart phone. I look forward to these numbers growing, as more people are empowered to use this innovative technology to improve their quality of life.”
The NHS Long Term Plan also sets out world leading action to help people with Type 2 diabetes, including doubling capacity of the Diabetes Prevention Programme so 200,000 people a year can benefit along with trialling new very low calorie diets.