The NHS Long Term Plan has so far provided tens of thousands of people with “life changing” diabetes monitors, helping 30,000 people across the country with their type I diabetes.
The monitors, which are the size of a £2 coin and worn on the arm, mean that people with type I do not have to carry out multiple painful finger-prick checks to monitor their blood sugar levels.
Over half of the people eligible are already in possession of the device within the first three months, a figure that puts the plan well ahead of schedule. This follows changes made in April which meant people eligible are able to get them on prescription, regardless of where they live in the country.
New data has revealed that 28,453 patients are already in receipt of monitors and 177,521 monitors were prescribed within the first three months.
The NHS says that it is now writing to local leaders to ensure this rapid uptake continues, with medical directors being urged to further build on the successful rollout to ensure people across the country reap the benefits of the life changing technology.
The plan, which was launched in January of this year, sets out “world leading” action to help people with type II diabetes, including doubling capacity of the Diabetes Prevention Programme so 200,000 people a year can benefit along with trialling new very low calorie diets.
It is also committed to rolling out continuous glucose monitors from April 2020 for every pregnant woman with type I diabetes, in its latest step to harness the power of digital technology.
Providing flash monitors on the NHS is a “huge leap forward” said Professor Partha Kar, NHS national specialty advisor, diabetes.
She continued to say that “it is fantastic to see the roll out make an instant impact, this is another example of how the NHS is making sure patients can benefit from the latest technologies.
“I’m thrilled with how many people are already benefitting from the device and doing away with inconvenient finger-prick checks, less than a year into delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan, tens of thousands of people are experiencing first-hand the difference that cutting edge treatments on the NHS are making for people living with type I diabetes across the country.”
People with type I diabetes who have low blood sugar levels are at risk of hypoglycaemia, which can involve seizures and a loss of consciousness. Those with high blood sugar levels can be at risk of serious long term health conditions, such as blindness and heart problems if left untreated.