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End the diabetes technology inequalities

Letter published in the Times on 5 November 2018

This week marks one year since the NHS announced that Flash Glucose Monitoring, a technology for people with diabetes, was made available on prescription across the UK. A year on, however, thousands of people still can’t access it, just because of where they live. 

With unequal access, doctors and nurses in hospitals often have to ask someone’s postcode before they can prescribe. This is not fair on them or their patients.  

We can’t continue like this, with decisions delayed and inconsistencies across areas about either Flash or future technologies that can be both life- and cost-saving. The postcode lottery needs to end now.

People with diabetes deserve a new and fair system of access to innovative health technologies that have the potential to change their lives for the better. That’s why we want to see the establishment of a new NHS diabetes medical technology fund to support the rapid adoption of new technologies and tackle inequalities in access. 

Chris Askew, CEO of Diabetes UK; Karen Addington, CEO of JDRF; Dr Dinesh Nagi, Chair of Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD); Dr May Ng, Chair of Association of Children’s Diabetes Clinicians UK; Dr Emma Wilmot, Consultant in Diabetes, Derby and Chair Diabetes Technology Network; Keith Vaz MP, Chair of Diabetes All Party Parliamentary Group; Dr Fiona Campbell, Chair of Children and Young People’s Diabetes National Network; Professor Gerry Rayman, Consultant in Diabetes, Ipswich; Dr Pratik Choudhary, Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Diabetes, King's College London; Jill Hill Co-Chair, TREND; Gill Thompson, DAFNE National Director on behalf of the DAFNE Executive Board; Claire Neely, Lead DSN and Deputy Clinical Director Diabetes, South London HIN; Philip Newland Jones, Consultant Pharmacist in Diabetes and Endocrinology, Southampton; Dr Lalantha Leelarathna, Consultant in Diabetes, Manchester Diabetes Centre; Dr Iain Cranston, Consultant in Diabetes, Portsmouth; Dr Jackie Elliott, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Diabetes and Honorary Consultant for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Chris Moudiotis, Consultant Paediatrician in Diabetes and Endocrinology, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Alistair Lumb, Consultant in Diabetes, Oxford; Carol Metcalfe, Advanced Paediatric Diabetes Specialist Practitioner, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

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