• Thursday, December 01, 2022

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NHS to give flash glucose monitors to all type 1 diabetes patients

Representational image (iStock)

By: Pramod Thomas

NHS on Thursday (31) said that it will provide flash glucose monitors to everyone living with type 1 diabetes to check their glucose levels more easily and regularly.

The wearable gadgets, the size of a £2 coin, have a sensor that easily sits on the arm, allowing patients to check their glucose levels with a one-second scan, a statement said.

According to a statement, the NHS long term plan has already helped almost three in five people with the condition.

These monitors link to an easy to use app on the phone, where people can access the data gathered by the device. They allow patients to view patterns over time, not only showing current and previous glucose levels but also predicting what level they can rise to, the statement added.

New research revealed that flash monitoring not only helps to improve blood glucose levels in people with type 1 diabetes, but also has a positive effect on their quality of life.

National NHS specialty adviser for diabetes, Professor Partha Kar, said: “This announcement is the biggest step forward for type 1 diabetes care in years, allowing everyone eligible to have one of these easy to use pieces of tech if they want to – building on the success of the NHS in its rollout so far. I am delighted to see NICE endorse the use of this technology.

“These monitors are a win win – they support diabetes patients to live healthier lives, reduce their risk of hospitalisation while also helping to reduce pressure on NHS services and provide better value for money for taxpayers.”

NHS in England spends around £10 billion, around 10 per cent of its entire budget, a year on diabetes. The health service said that tools like continuous glucose monitoring, which help patients better manage their condition and reduce associated illness and hospitalisations, can prove hugely cost effective.

Besides, it is taking radical action to tackle and treat diabetes, including through the NHS diabetes prevention programme with new research showing thousands of people are being spared type 2 diabetes as part of the scheme.

Essex native Olivia, 25, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged seven said: “Before I started using a flash glucose monitor, I carried my blood glucose testing kit with me everywhere and would have to test up to eight times per day – I was pricking my finger and testing my blood sugar before breakfast, before lunch, before dinner and before bed. Before driving in the car I would need to test, and after driving for two hours I would need to stop to test – endless testing!

“Growing up with diabetes, I’d never dreamed that a device like a Flash Glucose Monitor, where you don’t need to finger prick to know what your levels are, would be developed in my lifetime – and when I first started using one, I couldn’t quite believe something so small had such an impact on managing my diabetes. Since using a Flash Monitor, I’ve seen a huge improvement as I can make informed decisions when taking my insulin by looking at trends. But, most importantly, it’s helped me have more confidence and improved my mental well-being.”

NHS informed that eligible patients can access the monitors on prescription from their local GP or diabetes team.

Eastern Eye

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