Thousands more type 1 diabetics to get insulin pumps in Scotland

by Barbara Hewitt on January 4, 2017

The Government in Scotland is providing £10 million of new money to improve the management of type 1 diabetes with funds going to increase the provision of insulin pumps.

Health officials believe that an increased provision of insulin pumps, which deliver insulin into the body without the need for injections, will help people to manage their condition better.

Insulin-PumpThere are currently around 3,200 insulin pumps in use in Scotland, an increase of more than 400% since 2010 thanks to a £7.5 million Scottish Government programme and it is hoped that the extra investment will further increase adult insulin pump use across Scotland over the next five years.

The pumps will be provided to priority groups, including people who experience particularly severe cases of hypoglycaemia where blood sugar levels fall dangerously low and young children.

‘We know that insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring kits can make it much easier for some people to manage their type 1 diabetes. Proper control is absolutely key to improving outcomes and preventing complications from developing,’ said Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison.

‘This new investment will increase the provision of this equipment, meaning it’s available to many more people, and making it easier for them to lead healthy lives. Type 1 diabetes is a significant health challenge right across the world and Scotland is no exception. To address this the Scottish Government is funding ground breaking research at the University of Dundee, the biggest study of its kind in Europe involving more than 6000 patients,’ she added.

According to Karen Addington, chief executive of charity JDRF which supports the discovery of better treatments and one day a cure for type 1 diabetes, said the pumps should help.

‘Evidence shows this type 1 diabetes technology, provided alongside support and training for its use, can improve lives. We welcome the announcement of increased funding to improve access to it,’ she added.

One young person who has welcomed the move is Chelsey Millar, aged 11, from Dunfermline, who wrote to the First Minister last year asking for access to a pump. ‘I am writing to tell you about something that can be done in Scotland to help people with diabetes. I live with diabetes and have done since the age of four. I would like to give people in Scotland the chance to have something that other countries in the world have,’ she wrote.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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