Diabetes Scotland is campaigning for better and fairer access to diabetes technology for all those who need it to manage their condition well.
While the First Minister's announcement of £10 million additional funding for diabetes technology was welcomed by the charity and the diabetes community at large, there are concerns that opportunity to access will not be equal for every person living with the condition. This would be unacceptable. Diabetes Scotland is committed to ensuring that everyone who can benefit from diabetes technology including insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring, are provided with the kit and support they need.
As part of The Next Step campaign, Diabetes Scotland is calling for Scottish Government and NHS Scotland to provide leadership by developing a pathway to ensure that all people with diabetes get the appropriate tools and treatment to best manage their condition. The charity seeks guarantee that any changes in budget will not affect the availability of emerging diabetes technologies for the people who need them to live well.
Funding for the tools is only half the job. Healthcare professionals must receive training to ensure they are fluent in the technologies and can provide appropriate support to their patients.
Kirsteen Murray, Interim National Director at Diabetes Scotland, said: “Every person living with diabetes has the right to access the appropriate treatments, support and technology that will help them to live well. We hear from many people living with Type 1 diabetes, and families of young children with the condition, about the incredible positive impact an insulin pump, CGM or flash monitor has made to their lives. From parents not having to wake children up throughout the night for finger prick blood tests to adults who have been given the freedom to live their lives without fear of being struck by a severe hypo. We have taken a huge step forward in ability to treat Type 1 diabetes but we must make sure that everyone affected by the condition who can benefit, is given the opportunity.
“Our NHS was founded on the principle of free and equal access for all. We should not create barriers due to age, location or any other measure. With the advent of diabetes technology, we have the opportunity to improve the lives of thousands of people, reduce the risk of life-limiting complications and make long-term savings for the health service with fewer people requiring hospitalisation.
"The diabetes community celebrated the First Minister's announcement of additional funding for diabetes technology. We hope that celebration was not in vain."
If you would like to know more about The Next Step campaign or get involved,go to the campaign page.