Thanks to life-saving technology from the NHS, thousands of people who have diabetes will no longer have to do painful finger prick tests and can manage their condition better.
More than 2,000 pregnant women will benefit from a Continuous Glucose Monitor which they will have access to for twelve months. The monitor automatically alerts them if their sugars level get too high, which will help them manage their diabetes better and give birth to healthier babies.
People who have a learning disability will also benefit from this new roll-out, as they will be eligible for a “flash” glucose monitor which will assist them in managing any type of diabetes they have, as long as they use insulin to treat the condition.
The device sticks to the skin, so women can track their sugar levels 24 hours a day and an alarm will notify them if their blood sugar is too high, or too low.
The monitor called is very small (about the size of a £2) and is worn on the arm. It removes the need to carry out painful finger-prick tests multiple times a day, and because users get alerted electronically of whether their sugar levels are too low or too high, it makes people with diabetes lives’ much easier.
75,000 of the 250,000 patients with Type 1 diabetes in England are already benefiting since the roll-out in April 2019. Research has shown that the devices assist in improved wellbeing, glucose control and fewer hospital admissions.
Professor Partha Kar, NHS national speciality advisor for diabetes said: “This is a major step forward – as this novel technology can make a massive difference for those living with diabetes. The expansion will have an instant effect for pregnant women and those with a learning disability and is just one example of how the NHS is continuing to make sure patients can benefit from the latest technologies.”
NHS research showed that people who have Diabetes are more likely to succumb to the fatal effects of COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, remote monitoring conditions have become vital in helping people manage their health. This technology has had a major impact on hundreds of thousands of people living with diabetes.
Helen Kirrane, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Diabetes UK, said: “This announcement will be a huge relief to many, and is an important step towards widening access to life-enhancing technology for people with diabetes.
“We know that diabetes technology can make a big difference as people with diabetes try to manage their condition during these difficult times.
“While healthcare services remain under enormous pressure, it is wonderful to see that pregnant women and people with learning disabilities will be getting the help they need to manage their condition as well as possible from home.”
Karen Addington, UK Chief Executive of type 1 diabetes charity JDRF, said: “Type 1 diabetes can be tough to live with, and pregnant women with the condition face particular challenges. That is why we are especially pleased by this milestone, achieved in large part thanks to JDRF research that showed that CGM is cost-effective for pregnant women.”