The number of people with type 1 diabetes using insulin pumps in the UK has gone up, according to the first ever national audit report on the subject.
The findings from the National Diabetes Insulin Pump Audit Report state that the increased figures still remain lower than in comparable countries.
The audit, which was released on Friday April 1, looked at the characteristics of people using an insulin pump, why they started using one and what outcomes had been achieved since.
Insulin pumps can help control blood glucose levels by continually infusing rapid-acting insulin into the body. They can radically change people’s lives by offering a more practical alternative to multiple daily injections and can help avoid hypos.
Currently, 12.2 per cent of all children and adults in the UK with type 1 diabetes use insulin pumps, the report said.
In 2013 it was estimated that only seven per cent of people were using one. But the number of users still remains lower than other countries in Europe and North America and since 2013, it is thought that over 15 per cent of people in Norway and Germany use one. Around 40 per cent of people use a pump in the US, it is thought.
The audit data also suggested that although more males have diabetes than females, pump use is greater within women.
Other findings showed that people using an insulin pump are less likely to complete all eight care processes when compared with those not using one and the proportion of people on pumps is lower in areas with a higher degree of deprivation.
The report forms part of the National Diabetes Audit programme (NDA) and is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit programme (NCA).
Out of the 183 NHS clinical centres in the UK which offer pump services, a total of 42 submitted the data for the audit and the percentage of people receiving access to them range from 1.87 per cent to 34.8 per cent.
Pump data should again be collected for 2015-2016, it has been recommended.
JDRF chief executive Karen Addington said: “JDRF welcomes this increase in people with type 1 diabetes being able to access an insulin pump, as pumps can aid good blood glucose control and help to keep people with the condition in good health.
“However provision and access to pumps is better in many other countries. So we reaffirm our call for greater UK access to type 1 diabetes technologies including pumps – so everyone who would benefit from such technologies, and wishes to use one, can have access.”