Petition Provide CGM devices and insulin pumps on prescription to all type 1 diabetics.

CGM devices remove the need for finger tip blood sugar testing and pumps remove the need for injections. These are available in the UK on prescription and this should be the same in Jersey. Currently CGM devices are funded for children via a charity. Should be available at no cost for all ages.

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My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 at 2 years old. She relies on the CGM device to enable her to do what she loves, swimming (she has represented Jersey in local competitions). Jersey has an opportunity to lead the way on how we support our residents in managing type 1 diabetes as best as technology can enable. Also I believe it is cheaper to provide the CGM devices than to provide testing strips. This will it be a huge step forward in the choice of treatments offered by the diabetes service.

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Ministers responded

This response was given on 14 December 2018

The actions requested by the petitioner will be considered as part of the work on the development of an Island-wide strategy for the diabetes service.

Read the response in full

The Health and Community Services (HCS) Department is currently developing an island-wide strategy for the diabetes service in Jersey. This strategy aims to set out a business case for investment in the service that improves the lives for all those with diabetes, including better access to relevant devices/consumables. At present, charities fund CGM devices for children and, where urgently required, for some adults. Insulin pumps are provided by HCS for a small number of adults who have a clinical need.

There is currently a lot of interest in new technologies that monitor glucose levels in the blood without the need for frequent finger-prick testing. These include the ‘flash glucose testing‘ device called Freestyle Libre, which automatically measures glucose levels throughout the day, via a small sensor on the skin. For patients with type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes, such devices can be more convenient and less painful than using finger-prick testing strips but they are expensive.

If these new technologies are to be made available at public expense, it is important that criteria are developed so that funding can be directed at those for whom investment will have most clinical benefit. Guidelines suggest that for people who need to frequently test their blood glucose (>8 times each day), using a device such as Freestyle Libre can be cost-neutral when compared to the cost of finger-prick testing strips. Using the device may be more practical for patients with poor dexterity and for others it may improve their ability to control their diabetes, and so avoid serious complications in later life.

Many of the 450 people in Jersey with Type 1 diabetes have already bought their own Freestyle Libre device. Diabetes Jersey has also kindly funded this for some children. It is important that we ensure that those not able to afford it will also have access where use of the device is cost effective and will facilitate better diabetes control.

In November 2017, the NHS in England and Wales allowed for Freestyle Libre to be reimbursed on prescription but not all Clinical Commissioning Groups implemented the guidance issued at that time. This resulted in geographical variation in patients accessing the devices. However, a new directive from the Minister for Health in England means that from April 2019 all patients in England with type 1 diabetes who meet certain criteria will be able to receive the device free of charge.

To conclude, the availability of these devices will be considered as part of the work on the development of an Island-wide strategy for the diabetes service.

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