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NHS vs NHS-Scotland: Who Treats T1s better?

Discussion in 'Benefits' started by Mark&Phoebe, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. Mark&Phoebe

    Mark&Phoebe · Newbie

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    Hello all,

    I currently live in America, but am planning to return to the UK in a couple of years. The reason for my question is that I'm wondering which of the two is more willing to provide insulin pumps/cgms to a T1, and which seems more generally 'sensible' in how they treat us?

    Right now, I'm fortunate to have very good insurance through work which pays 100% of my pump (Omnipod) costs, and 100% of my CGM (Dexcom) costs as well, but leaves me to pay about £300 per year for my insulin and test strips. I really want to hang onto the pump and CGM as I find them essential to my well-being.

    I've looked up what I can, and it seems that, as long as the doctor I see agrees I need these, it shouldn't be too hard to get approval. But talking to actual users would be much more useful, I think.

    I very much appreciate any insights you can share regarding your experiences, thank you.
  2. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    I only have experience of England and would say it is a postcode lottery whether you get a pump or CGM and the odds of getting the CGM are low.
    Some areas allow you to chose your pump. Others give you the choice of one pump or injections and the Omnipod is one of the more expensive pumps.

    For me, I have an Animas pump. This was the only one on offer. Currently, it looks likely to be replaced by a Medtronic when the warranty expires. There is no other choice.
    If I want a CGM or Libre, I have to fund it myself. The criteria for Libre are very tight (e.g two hospitalisation with DKA or two severe hypos requiring support ... which would result in a loss of driving license) and I do not qualify. The criteria for a more expensive CGM such as Dexcom are even tighter.

    Insulin and test strips are covered by prescriptions which are paid for in England if you have type 1 diabetes.
  3. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

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    It may be wise to refrain from setting anything in stone. If one is to believe the doom mongers we won't even have any insulin available after Brexit!

    I don't know how things work in Scotland, but in England the local Care Comissioning Groups are issuing guidlines about who gets the new tech. Whilst a few areas are freely prescribing it, in others you have to have very poor control of your glucose levels to get it.

    By the time you get here, the situation may have improved, but then again...........
  4. Jollymon

    Jollymon Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    What about just moving to Canada? They seem to like folks with diabetes there.
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  5. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hhm, @Mark&Phoebe , that's a difficult one!

    I'm in Scotland, Edinburgh, where NHS Lothian has one of the most liberal policies anywhere in the UK if you want Libre - if you're T1, you'll get it, and we bling it up quite easily with blucon or miaomiao to make it comparable to dexcom.

    I've no idea about pumps. I'm MDI, happy with that, but the last couple of six monthly consultations I've been to, the docs have said, fancy trying a pump, we're going to get you guys on closed loops in a few years time, so try getting used to it.

    It's still a massive post code lottery here at at the moment on the cgm/pump front - don't expect to walk in from America and have the same choices as your insurers will provide, but you'll be getting your insulin and strips for free.

    Here's a link to ECED, a collaboration of the Lothian hospitals doing diabetes stuff:


    We also do some really good festivals!
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  6. knipster

    knipster Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I only know about England, but for me I was offered the omnipod fully funded but not cgms or even libres yet. If you want a cgm funded by the NHS then you have to fit a certain set of criteria eg no hypo awareness or play sport at national level. I think the dexcom is a much more widely avaliable system in the US, I don't know of anyone in the UK using it personally - but that's not to say you couldnt get it, but you would most likely have to self fund unfortunately. Test strips, insulin, and any other consumables, however, are fully covered by the nhs.
    Hope that helped and good luck with your move over here!
  7. fmacd

    fmacd Type 1 · Member

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    I'm under NHS Highland (in Scotland) and have been on an Omnipod for one year. As you'll know the control is hugely improved on it and the health service are right behind it. This week I'm going onto the Freestyle Libre, also funded by the health board. It might help from our point of view that we have had a leading diabetes professor, Sandra McRury, working out of Inverness for almost 30 years. She has been a real pioneer. I notice someone saying the Omnipod is a more expensive pump but over a year, the latest research says it comes in as one of the cheapest; looks like the initial layout appears prohibitive.

    As others have said, it depends which health board you land up living under...

    Good luck.
  8. drew900uk

    drew900uk · Member

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    I’m under NHS Grampian and I’m a newly diagnosed T1. After a few months I was put on the Libre and both my insulin and the Libre are free.
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  9. Connie’s Dad

    Connie’s Dad · Active Member

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