The NHS in Lothian are hoping to make savings of GBP2.5 million by altering how diabetes patients monitor their own condition. They are planning to put an end to the use of expensive glucose strips for diabetics who can manage their condition through diet and exercise .
Reducing the amount of prescriptions without risking patients with type 2 diabetes is one of the money-saving exercises that NHS chiefs are making to cope with challenging cuts to their budget. They are wanting people to take more responsibility for looking after their own condition where possible.
Although the device that makes the glucose strips is supplied for free, the strips are expensive and on repeat prescriptions. A spokesperson for NHS Lothian said “It sounds exactly the kind of smart working that every department should be looking to.” However, those patients who need insulin or tablets for their diabetes will be able to continue using them.
Alastair Paisley, a local councillor who suffers from diabetes, commented “When I first received the kit I used it about twice a week to make sure everything was okay. But as time went on I used it less, to the point where months go by without it. So when I got the letter saying the NHS hoped to save money by taking people off these I wholly agreed. When you are like me and can manage your diabetes through diet and exercise there’s really no need for it.”

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