Diabetes patients must inject insulin to control blood glucose levels on a daily basis and know when to do this through testing their blood glucose. Flash glucose monitors are small sensors worn on the skin of the upper arm, which continuously monitor blood glucose levels. They reduce the need for inconvenient finger-prick blood tests.
Although the devices are in principle available via the NHS, local decision makers also need to agree policies on prescribing the technology for people with diabetes in their area. This means different areas had different availability for the device. The charity Diabetes UK have been campaigning for equal access to the device. A prior MAP news report on this is available here.
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, has announced an end to the current variation in availability of the flash glucose monitors ‘Freestyle Libre’ on the NHS. The monitors will be funded from 1 April 2019 making them available to patients, according to the eligibility criteria in the guidance, equally across the country.
Dr Partha Kar, Associate National Clinical Director for Diabetes at NHS England has stated:
“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. This will be based on previous national guidance issued- with the provision of updating it as further evidence accrues.”