NHS England publishes guidance on Flash Glucose Monitors for Type 1 diabetes patients

Tens of thousands of patients with type 1 diabetes will benefit from life changing glucose monitors on the NHS from next month.

NHS England today published the clinical guidance for the monitors, outlining funding arrangements for local health groups and the criteria for who qualifies for the technology.

From April, the NHS will provide the technology for one in five of those with type 1 diabetes in England. Those who qualify include:

  • People with type 1 diabetes who need intensive monitoring (more than 8 times every day) as demonstrated in a review over the past 3 months.
  • People with diabetes associated with Cystic Fibrosis on insulin.
  • Pregnant women with Type 1 Diabetes for 12 months in total.
  • People with Type 1 diabetes unable to routinely self-monitor blood glucose due to disability.
  • People with Type 1 diabetes for whom the specialist diabetes MDT determines have occupational or psychosocial circumstances that warrant a 6-month trial of Libre with appropriate support.

Patients will be able to receive it on prescription from their local GP or diabetes team, helping them to better manage their blood sugar level and NHS England will reimburse local health groups for costs of the wearable sensors.

The pioneering technology should ultimately help people with Type 1 diabetes achieve better health outcomes and benefits for patients include:

  • Easily noticing when sugar levels are starting to rise or drop, so action can be taken earlier
  • Giving patients more confidence in managing their own condition
  • Not having to do as many finger-prick checks

Dr Partha Kar, Associate National Clinical Director at Diabetes said: “This is an important step forward for the NHS and for people with type 1 diabetes.

“The guidance published today confirms the NHS’ commitment to improving the care of those with type 1 diabetes and signals an end to the variation in availability to the life changing technology.”

JDRF Chief Executive Officer in the UK, Karen Addington said: “We are delighted that these new guidelines will effectively end the inequity of access to Flash Glucose Monitoring that people living with type 1 diabetes have experienced, based simply on where they live in England. JDRF has worked with NHS England and partners to secure this outcome and look forward to supporting the implementation in April.”

Of those with a diagnosis of diabetes, an estimated 260,000 in England have Type 1 diabetes.