Patients in Kent with type 1 diabetes will be prescribed high-tec glucose monitoring systems, after I urged the NHS to make it available.
The Freestyle Libre system is a sensor that constantly monitors blood glucose and can send the results to a smartphone app. It means patients do not have to constantly prick their fingers to draw blood.
It can be life changing for people with diabetes. It means they can check their blood glucose much more easily and frequently (and without finger pricking). That helps control glucose levels, reducing the risk of physical damage from diabetes or falling into a coma. That in turn means much greater peace of mind.
I know just how important that is – as well as receiving emails about this, I have a close friend and a cousin with diabetes. For both of them, it makes life so much more difficult. My friend worries that if she doesn’t manage her diabetes right, she might not be there for her children – but Freestyle Libre has taken so much of that worry away.
But using this device costs nearly £100 a month, which is out of reach for many. With an extra £20 billion going into healthcare, I urged the local NHS to make Freestyle Libre available on prescription. I’m pleased they have listened and diabetics in this area will soon be able to get this brilliant device
It is expected that the monitoring system will be available on prescription from diabetic specialists for a limited number of patients once the necessary policies, training and processes are in place. This is likely to take several months to agree and patients will be updated once completed.
East Kent conditions for the availability of FreeStyle Libre include:
- Only to be available to a pre-defined cohort of type 1 diabetic patients
- To be managed within a specialist care setting – for east Kent this would be the acute rather than community
- No prescribing or monitoring to take place in primary care
- A prior approval process to be put in place
- A patient contract to be established to discontinue use of FreeStyle Libre if no improvement is demonstrated against the agreed areas over the 6-month trial period.
- A policy and process to be established and agreed before implementation
- Training to be undertaken by specialist providers