Diabetes UK has expressed concern at proposals to restrict some items of diabetes equipment as a cost-saving exercise and is calling on people with diabetes to give their views on the subject.
NHS England is consulting on whether to advise Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to restrict the prescription of glucose testing strips for people with Type 2 diabetes and insulin pen needles over a certain price for all people with diabetes.
Diabetes UK will work to ensure that the views and needs of people with diabetes are represented in any final outcome of the consultation. The charity will submit an official response to the consultation and is encouraging people with diabetes to submit their thoughts to NHS England.
The consultation period will close on 28 February.
NHS England has stated in the consultation document that the intention is not to de-prescribe these items, but for CCGs to consider cheaper alternatives. Glucose test strips (for people with Type 2 diabetes) and needles for insulin pens (for all people with diabetes) are the two items relevant for people with diabetes on the list being consulted on.
The charity argues that these items are not optional extras or luxuries, but essential tools for diabetes management. They help people with diabetes stay on top of their condition and avoid complications in the long run.
Phaedra Perry, Diabetes UK South West Regional Head, said:
“We believe it’s vital that people with diabetes who are largely self-managing their condition have all the support they need to do so. We worry that these proposals will undermine people’s ability and confidence to do this, and are also concerned that the cheaper needles proposed by NHS England might not be as effective.
“Everyone’s diabetes and diabetes management is different, and it’s vital that the outcome of NHS England’s consultation takes into account people’s preferences and ease of use, not just cost.”
Items which would be affected if the consultation’s proposals become reality would be blood glucose testing strips costing more than £10 for 50 strips (for people with Type 2 diabetes) and reusable insulin pen needles costing more than £5 for 100 needles (for all people with diabetes).
People with diabetes can submit their views via NHS England’s online survey or by attending one of NHS England’s consultation events. They can also submit their views to Diabetes UK to help shape Diabetes UK’s response to the consultation. To share your thoughts on the subject with Diabetes UK, go to firstname.lastname@example.org.