People with Type 1 diabetes across the country will be given from ‘life changing’ glucose monitors on the NHS, Simon Stevens has announced.
Mr Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, announced the measure to end the current variation patients in some parts of the country are facing to access Freestyle Libre, used by prime minister Theresa May, to coincide with World Diabetes Day. According to NHS England, the wearable sensor does away with the need for finger prick blood tests by relaying glucose levels to a smart phone or e-reader.
‘Increasingly the NHS is going to be offering patients this sort of technology to help them more easily manage their own long term health problem,’ said Mr Stevens. ‘In the NHS of the future, for many conditions you’re going to get NHS support direct from your smartphone or wearable device rather than having to trek to regular hospital outpatient appointments. Supporting people with modern tools to manage conditions such as Type 1 diabetes is about to become much more widespread. Innovations such as these also free up time and resources for the NHS as a whole.’
NHS England will make the device available on prescription for all patients who qualify for it in line with NHS clinical guidelines, from April 2019. These patients will be able to receive it on prescription from their local GP or diabetes team. The device will be funded for people with Type 1 diabetes from next year’s funding growth for local health groups which will allow access to flash monitoring throughout the country.
‘This is an exciting and welcome step forward as the aim is to have uniform prescribing policy across the NHS, irrespective of where someone with Type 1 diabetes lives,’ said Dr Partha Kar, Associate National Clinical Director for Diabetes at NHS England. ‘This will be based on previous national guidance issued- with the provision of updating it as further evidence accrue.’