Family's delight as little Lauren gets a new lease of life

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Nigel Taylor, managing director of Taylor Made Computer Solutions     Picture: Lee Peck Media

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A young girl is set to get a new lease of life after the NHS reversed a decision denying her a key piece of technology.

Since being diagnosed with type one diabetes two years ago, seven-year-old Lauren White has had to endure up to six injections a day.

Parents Vince and Nicola had been told that an insulin pump could improve her quality of life and make the condition much easier to manage.

But both St Mary's Hospital in Portsmouth, where she was first referred, and then Southampton General Hospital, claimed they couldn't afford to fund the 2,500 pump.

However, Hampshire Primary Care Trust has changed its mind, and will stump up the cash.

Mr White, 37, of Garstons Close, Titchfield, said: 'Trying to get the hospitals to recognise the pump would be the best way forward has been so difficult. Ever since Lauren was diagnosed she has been really unsettled.

'It's a big impact for a little girl. She's resilient and takes it all in her stride, but there are times when she gets despondent and asks: "Why me?"

'Even with things like children's parties, we can't just drop her off like most parents would in case she has a hypo (hypoglycemic shock, brought on by low blood sugar levels].

'Getting the new pump will hopefully make a huge difference.'

Brother James was so concerned about his little sister that he got their school, Titchfield Primary, to take part in a sponsored fun run to raise money for her.

However, now the PCT has guaranteed the new pump, the money raised will go to Diabetes UK.

James, nine, said: 'I felt sad about what had happened to Lauren, and when she gets a hypo she's really poorly, and that's why I wanted to do this.'

Lauren added: 'It is a bit scary having diabetes because nobody else in school has it.

'I think the new pump will make a big difference.

'The injections hurt, and if I can have a pump it means I can go to sleepovers and parties. I am excited about getting it.'

Keith Douglas, director of contracting at NHS Hampshire, said there was no restriction on funding for this type of treatment and hospitals which did not provide the service should refer patients to those that do.

He added: 'There are a number of providers that deliver this service, and NHS Hampshire funds without question patients who comply with NICE guidance.'

FACTFILE

Diabetes is a disease in which the body either fails to produce any insulin (type 1) or the insulin it does produce is unable to adequately trigger the conversion of food into energy (type 2).

Type 1 diabetes is a less common form of diabetes mellitus.

It is an auto-immune disease that permanently destroys beta cells in the pancreas, so the body can longer produce insulin.

It is deadly without regular insulin injections.

People with diabetes are two to four more times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.

Diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness among adults between 20 and 74 years old.