NHS should be applauded for above-average diabetes technology access

Access to wearable diabetes technology in the UK has significantly improved and the NHS should be “applauded” for its hard work, according to the editor of Desang Diabetes Magazine.

On the day the NHS officially turns 70 online publication Desang Diabetes Magazine has released the results of its recent reader survey which has shown the radical transformation the health service has undergone with its approach to diabetes technology.

The findings showed 24% of those who took part in the poll are on insulin pumps, which is more than twice the national average.

Desang Diabetes Magazine’s editor Sue Marshall, who has Type 1 diabetes and has spent her career in publishing, said: “We’ve always known our magazine attracts readers who are interested in technology, but we were amazed at how many people are obviously being given access to wearable technology.

“This is hugely significant for people who have diabetes as technology has been scientifically shown to enrich and simplify their lives with improved health outcomes. I believe this trend is a direct result of the hardworking NHS teams who work tirelessly, ensuring the health of the nation is as good as it can be. They should be applauded for their efforts.”

The top three technology devices the survey unveiled to be the most popular were blood test meters, followed by continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and then non-tech hypo treatments.

Lesley Jordan, chief executive of INPUT Patient Advocacy, and an insulin pump user herself, said: “The National Diabetes Audit published in 2017 showed that 15 % of adults in England, and 28% of children and young people in England and Wales, use an insulin pump. We have hit the benchmark set by NICE in 2008, which is great! There’s still a lot to do to reduce variation in access to pumps and to flash and continuous glucose monitoring across the UK, but we are greatly encouraged by these statistics.”

Associate National Clinical Director for Diabetes for NHS England, Dr Partha Kar, said: “We already know technology has become an essential part of our day, but for someone who has a chronic condition that needs round-the-clock management such as diabetes, technology can be a complete game-changer. Diabetes technology can be used to provide both educational and motivational support. Allowing patients to learn new practices and routines related to diabetes management. Users can also receive daily diabetes self-management activities including blood glucose monitoring, exercising, healthy eating, taking medication, monitoring for complications, and problem-solving. The fact the NHS is supportive of technology among the diabetes community is a huge step forward and I am very pleased that for all those who have access are taking up the opportunity, because ultimately good diabetes management is essential for patients.”

The survey attracted 300 readers and showed their favourite tool, relating to their diabetes management, was mobile phone apps that track blood test results. Apps that incorporated the glycaemic index, the glycaemic load to assess diet, and to count carbs were also popular.

Just over 70% of those surveyed said they tested their blood more than three times a day, and many said they had benefited from a diabetes education programme such as DAFNE or Bertie.

As published by The Diabetes Times.

News items and features like this appear in the Desang Diabetes Magazine, our free-to-receive digital journal (see below). We cover diabetes news, diabetes management equipment (diabetes ‘kit’ such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring equipment) and news about food suitable for a diabetic diet including a regular Making Carbs Count column. We just need your email address to subscribe you (it’s free, and you can easily unsubscribe should you wish to).

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