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Health service to fund glucose monitors for people with Type 1 diabetes

Friday, 21 February 2020

The Island’s health service is to provide a glucose monitoring system for adults and children with Type 1 diabetes for the first time.

The Freestyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System will be made available to patients within a specified criteria in line with the NHS England agreement as follows:

  • Freestyle Libre will be available for adults with Type 1 diabetes
  • Freestyle Libre and Dexcom G6 will be available for children with Type 1 diabetes

The systems offer an accurate, safe and convenient way for people with diabetes to monitor their glucose levels, reducing the number of finger prick tests required throughout the day and night. A key benefit for parents of children with Type 1 diabetes using the Dexcom G6 is the ability to check their child’s readings, as the technology allows for data from the devices to be sent to their mobile phones, including alerts when a child’s blood sugar falls to a potentially dangerous level.   

The sensors are placed under the skin and are simple to use and discreet. They give a digital update on an individual’s glucose level via a simple swipe, supporting better control of their condition. The Dexcom G6 provides continuous glucose information without the need to swipe.

The sensor systems will be available on the NHS from the start of the next financial year in April 2020 via a staged implementation programme.

Minister for Health and Social Care David Ashford said:

‘I’m delighted we are in a position to offer diabetes monitors on prescription for all Type 1 patients who are eligible – it marks a major step forward in our service and brings us in line with the system in England.'

He added:

‘As well as being a highly effective way to track blood glucose levels, the sensors will mean more independence and a better quality of life for diabetes sufferers. They will bring welcome reassurance for parents, who will be able to check what’s going on remotely – and we know from children who’ve used the monitors that they enjoy greater freedom and confidence in managing their condition than when they had to prick their own finger.’

Lead Diabetes Specialist Jan Clark and Paediatric Diabetes Specialist Grant McCallum have welcomed the development, commenting:

‘The Diabetes team is delighted that the benefits of utilising technology to assist Type 1 diabetes sufferers manage their condition, have been recognised. We will monitor eligibility as patients are seen at the clinic and those with greatest need will be prioritised. We will give training in how to use the devices.’  

‘Local charitable organisation Diabetes Isle of Man has offered to provide further information around this technology and to answer queries emailed to:

Diabetes Isle of Man and parent-led campaign Monitors4Kids have highlighted the benefits of the monitors through a public awareness and fund-raising campaign. Monitors4Kids have funded devices for youngsters with Type 1 diabetes since December 2018, thanks to generous donations from local people and businesses, and continues to do so. The sensors have also been available for individuals to purchase from the manufacturer.

Staff at the Diabetes Centre at Noble’s Hospital have supported patients in using the systems and will manage their introduction when they become available through the health service in April.

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