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Access to pumps and CGMs in the UK

Discussion in 'Blood Glucose Monitoring' started by Wilsapp, Jul 22, 2021.

  1. Wilsapp

    Wilsapp · Member

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    I've been diabetic for 31 years and recently moved house so my diabetic care has moved to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. I was hoping they'd be a bit more flexible than my hospital in London regarding diabetes kit.

    You need to do at least 8 finger pricks a day to get a Freestyle Libre on the NHS. My average was 7.5 so I need to do 8 tests a day for 3 months to get one. I asked about Dexcom G6 and pumps but there's absolutely no way I'll get them.

    When I read this forum a lot of people seem to have this kit. My question (finally!) is how easy has it been for others to get kit on the NHS? My control isn't too bad but as time goes on I'm more at risk of complications and I'm sure better control with the help of some kit would help fend them off. It's SO frustrating. The UK has the lowest pump usage in Europe.

    That's it. Rant over . Other people's experiences would be very interesting.
  2. Rokaab

    Rokaab Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It was a complete nightmare for me to get a pump, the pump consultant in my hospital was a bit of a 'red tape man' so despite the fact he could see I'd really benefit, it wasnt til he retired that I got one, and I only got one because the night time adventures of my glucose levels cannot be controlled with a basal insulin (ie was slowly dropping til about 3am then went up like a rocketship so needs different basal amounts from 3am til about 8am which cant be done with a normal basal through MDI - well not unless I got up at 3-4am every morning which was not part of the plan).

    I think only 20% of T1's are supposedly getting the libre, a lot less get pumps as far as I can tell, you have to have a very specific provable reason why it cant be dealt with using MDI in many places (some places seem to be a lot more liberal - my CCG is not)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. In Response

    In Response Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It was not easy for me either.
    I was able to get Libre because I was testing 10 times a day.
    It also helps that my team knows me well and know that I use the data and that my lifestyle is not consistent because I usually travel a lot for work and exercise a lot so diabetes management is not the same every day.
    But this is a relationship I have deliberately built with them over the last 15 years.
    I have asked for a different CGM but told the CCG only fund CGMs if you are pregnant or have a very high HBA1C. They accept this means that I am penalised for managing my diabetes well.
    • Like Like x 1
    #3 In Response, Jul 22, 2021 at 4:26 PM
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
  4. sleepster

    sleepster Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello @Wilsapp I got my pump in 2012 and it was fairly easy, but that's because I had been having seizures from hypos in the night that weren't waking me up. It was on my first visit to a new hospital the DSN asked if I would like to try a pump and they added me to the priority list. It took a while, as these things do, but I didn't really have to do much except show I could carb count. I was at that hospital until 2020 and libres/cgms were never mentioned to me. I only knew about libres etc from here.

    I changed hospitals in 2020 and on my first visit the consultant asked if I would like to give the libre a go. He told me the criteria was to be testing 8 times a day, which I had been but I am absolutely awful at inputting my BG readings into my pump so I think on my pump data upload there was only a few days where I had actually put them all in (because I was going to the hospital ;)) but thankfully he was still willing to apply for the funding for me. I started on the libre a couple of months later.
    Basically I've been very lucky (aside from the seizures) and have had these things offered to me instead of having to fight for them.
  5. searley

    searley Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

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    I was actually offered a pump and had it within 6 months of offer

    But I met the criteria to have a pump

    Check the nice guidelines that's a good place to start
  6. Peter03

    Peter03 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have been on a pump now for 18 plus years in France, I mentioned maybe one day I may be able to get a pump on the Thursday my consultant said would you like one I said yes, the following Tuesday I was back to the hospital to have it connected, I suppose I fitted the criteria at the time, I have always been happy with my pumps
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  7. richyb

    richyb Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Took me about 3 years, 2 changes of DSN and a consultant retired. My present DSN"s are wonderfull. So knowledgable and understanding
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