Diabetes patients being denied a new life-changing technology

Diabetes UK has warned that thousands of people in the UK with diabetes are being denied new life-changing technology that could help them safely manage their condition.

Flash glucose monitoring uses a small sensor, worn on the skin, that records blood sugar levels continuously and can be scanned and read whenever needed. According to the charity, flash glucose monitoring is more convenient, less painful and provides more information than monitoring blood glucose levels through a finger prick test, which is deemed the traditional method. It also reduces the risk of diabetes-related complications such as amputation, blindness and stroke, which can save the NHS money.

More than seven thousand people have backed the charity’s Flash campaign for fair and equal access to flash glucose monitoring everywhere in the UK, with a third of areas already recognising the benefits of the technology and are prescribing it. The device can be prescribed on the NHS, which has been the case since November 2017.

Local decision makers have decided against prescribing Flash in 52 areas in England, representing a ‘postcode lottery’ to access technology that could help them manage their condition well.

Helen Dickens, assistant director of Campaigns and Mobilisation, said: “People’s health should not depend on an unfair postcode lottery. Everyone should be able to access the care and treatments necessary to safely manage their condition. Because Flash makes it easier to monitor and better manage blood sugar levels, it improves lives, can save money, and reduces the risk of serious diabetes complications such as amputations and blindness.

“The NHS agreed to provide access in November, but people with diabetes have already been waiting for too long. Every area should now have a policy providing access to Flash for free on prescription, so that everyone who can benefit from it, will.”

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