Technology boost will help diabetes patients

Jill Steaton of Diabetes UK
Jill Steaton of Diabetes UK

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A NEW potentially life-changing technology for people with diabetes is now available for people across the area.

Flash Glucose Monitoring is used to record the blood glucose levels of people with Type 1 diabetes.

Charity Diabetes UK campaigned to get the equipment available on the NHS and it has now been approved for use by the clinical commissioning groups covering Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport and Havant.

For people who meet the CCGs’ criteria, Flash Glucose Monitoring will be free of charge on prescription.

Many people with Type 1 diabetes need to self-monitor their blood glucose levels which is usually done with a finger prick blood test.

But Flash Glucose Monitoring is a different technology which uses a small sensor that people wear on their skin.

It records blood sugar levels continuously and can be read by scanning the sensor whenever needed.

The device also gives people better control of their condition, reducing the risk of serious diabetes-related complications such as amputation, blindness and stroke.

Jill Steaton, regional manager in the south east for Diabetes UK, said: ‘It’s really good news that people in Portsmouth and the surrounding area will be able to get Flash free of charge on prescription.

‘This, sadly, isn’t the case for everyone living with diabetes across the country or even in the wider south east region with some clinical commissioning groups in Kent and Sussex denying access.

‘We believe everyone with diabetes should have access to the right technology to support them, not just those who can afford it.’

Patients will need to attend education courses on how to use Flash Glucose Monitoring before they can get free prescriptions.

Even though the device is available on the NHS, its use is subject to approval by local health bodies, and there are still many areas in the country where it is not offered on prescription.

To find out more about the device and how to access it, visit diabetes.org.uk/get_involved/campaigning/flash-glucose-monitoring.