The blood sugar monitoring device set to be available on prescription for people with type 1 diabetes who need intensive monitoring.
New guidelines have been published by the NHS on the use of flash glucose monitoring systems for people with type 1 diabetes.
The devices could have a huge impact on how people with type 1 diabetes self-manage the condition – and will be available for those who need to regularly check their blood sugar levels.
The guidelines detail funding arrangements for local health groups and the criteria for who qualifies for the technology.
It is estimated around one fifth of the 260,000 people living with type 1 diabetes in England could benefit from life changing glucose monitors on the NHS from next month.
From April, the NHS will provide flash glucose monitoring technology for one in five of those with type 1 diabetes in England.
The criteria for who would be eligible to use the device via the NHS includes: 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; and 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.
People with type 1 diabetes who are eligible based on the above conditions will be able to receive the device 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.
Flash glucose monitoring can help people with type 1 diabetes achieve better health outcomes and benefits for users include easily noticing when sugar levels are starting to rise or drop, so action can be taken earlier. In addition using the device can help users gain more confidence in managing their own condition and they are not required to have to do as many finger-prick checks.
Dr Partha Kar, Associate National Clinical Director for Diabetes at NHS England, 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.”