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Charity publishes guidance to improve quality of life for people with Type 1 diabetes across England

This week, we have published a consensus guideline to help people with Type 1 diabetes in England have access to the available diabetes technologies that are essential in managing their condition well.

We developed this guideline to help address the wide variation in access to diabetes technologies – such as continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and insulin pumps.

Currently, NICE guidance sets out clear guidelines for the use of CGM and insulin pumps, but in some parts of the country accessing these technologies can be very difficult. Our new guideline will help inform clinical teams, and support decision making on the most appropriate use of available technology for people with Type 1 diabetes in managing their blood glucose levels.  

This new document will also set out guidance for local NHS policymakers when they are considering making appropriate technology available for people with diabetes in their local area.

The aim of this new guideline is to make it easier for more people with diabetes to get access to the right technology. In doing so more people will be able to reduce their chances of experiencing hypoglycaemic events, and other health problems associated with high HbA1C levels. Ultimately, by helping individuals better manage their blood sugar levels, this guidance will help individuals minimise their risk of developing long-term serious complications such as sight-loss and amputation.

Working with NHS England, we have brought together a multi-disciplinary group of experts from across the country to develop this guidance. Thanks to the support and involvement of UK patient groups and expert patients we can be confident that these recommendations represent the needs of people living with Type 1 diabetes.

Last year we spoke to around 9,000 people with diabetes about what would most help them live well in the future. They highlighted that access to technologies and treatments was one of the key priorities, especially for people with Type 1 diabetes.

Robin Hewings, Head of Policy, Knowledge and Insight at Diabetes UK, said:

“Type 1 diabetes can be relentless and tough to manage. Achieving the level of blood sugar control required to minimise the risk of long term complications requires a complex balance between insulin and carbohydrates, frequent blood sugar monitoring. The evidence shows that access to the right technology – along with education and support to use those resources successfully –  means that someone with Type 1 diabetes is more likely to keep their blood sugar levels within a healthy range.

“Our supporters have told us that access to technology helps and we have a responsibility to make sure that everyone with Type 1 diabetes has access to the best treatment possible.”

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