A new technology that is potentially life-changing for many people with diabetes is now available across Somerset.
After Diabetes UK successfully campaigned to make Flash Glucose Monitoring available on the NHS last year, health leaders from Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have approved its use. This means that some people who meet local criteria will be able to get it free of charge on prescription for the first time.
Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. Many people with diabetes need to self-monitor their blood glucose levels. This is usually done with a finger prick blood test using a meter that indicates the blood glucose level at the time of the test.
Flash Glucose Monitoring is a different technology which uses a small sensor that people wear on their skin. It records blood sugar levels continuously and can be read by scanning the sensor whenever needed. This can free people from the pain of frequent finger-prick testing, making it easier to keep on top of blood sugar levels.
Crucially, the device can help with better control of the condition and, in turn, reduce the risk of serious diabetes-related complications such as amputation, blindness and stroke.
Even though in principle it is available on the NHS, its use is subject to approval by local health bodies, and there are still many areas in the country where it is not offered on prescription. Diabetes UK wants to see people all over the UK, who can benefit from the ground breaking technology gain access to it.
Annika Palmer, south west regional head at Diabetes UK, said: “It’s really good news that people in Somerset will be able to get Flash free of charge on prescription. This sadly isn’t the case for everyone living with diabetes across the country and even within the south west.
“We believe everyone with diabetes should have access to the right technology to support them, not just those who can afford it.
“We are calling on local decision makers elsewhere in the south west and across the country to ensure everyone with diabetes who could benefit from Flash gets it, no matter where they live.”
To find out if Flash is right for you, what you need to do to access it and how you can make the case for it to be made available in your local area, click HERE
You can also call the Diabetes UK helpline on 0345 123 2399, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org