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PEOPLE IN GLASGOW WAITING LONGER FOR DIABETES TECH




DUNCAN – GLANCY: PEOPLE IN GLASGOW WAITING LONGER FOR DIABETES TECH

 

Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP has today raised concerns with the Minister for Public Health about the length of time many people in Glasgow are having to wait for access to insulin pumps.

 

During the Scottish Parliament’s question session on Health and Social Care, the Glasgow MSP stated that she has been contacted by a number of constituents highlighting the long waiting periods they face for diabetes tech, in some cases more than a year.

 

She highlighted research from Diabetes Scotland’s ‘Diabetes Tech Can’t Wait’ campaign which has found that while access to this technology is unacceptable across the country, access to insulin pumps is disproportionately low in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board Area.

 

Diabetes is a serious and complex condition where your blood sugar level is too high because the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin or the insulin it produces doesn’t work properly, or it doesn’t produce any insulin at all. Everyone with type 1 diabetes has to take insulin to live – with most people traditionally requiring a regimen of multiple daily insulin injections, finger prick testing, and carbohydrate counting.

 

Insulin pumps release insulin into the body through a tube, avoiding the need for multiple daily injections. They’ve been shown to improve blood sugar management and reduce the risk of complications like stroke, eye damage, and kidney disease.

 

Commenting, Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP said:

 

“Diabetes is a complex condition and can lead to even more serious health issues without proper monitoring. Insulin pumps can provide a lifeline, ensuring people with diabetes can control their blood sugar levels. They can help improve, and even save lives.

 

“But people in Glasgow are waiting too long for this crucial tech. It’s not right they’re waiting longer than people in some other parts of the country. Support like this cannot be a postcode lottery.

 

“It is vitally important that the Scottish Government recognises the unfair waits of people in Glasgow and works with the Health Board to address this, quickly.”

 

John Kinnear, National Director at Diabetes Scotland, said:

“The Scottish Government has taken some important steps to support the roll out of diabetes technology but the number of people with type 1 diabetes using technology is too low and for too many people across Scotland it simply isn’t available. 

“We know Health Boards are seeing huge increases in demand for tech and that many clinicians want to support people to access the tech they are eligible for. But right now, Health Boards simply don’t have the capacity to make this a reality for everyone who needs it. 

“Our report showcases areas of good practice in the NHS and innovative approaches to prescribing tech. It also sets out clear recommendations for the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland to continue crucial work towards delivering fair and equal access to diabetes tech.  

“Fair and equal access to diabetes tech for people living with diabetes who could benefit is vitally important as it aims to prevent thousands of people from developing complications and free up NHS resources in the long term.  

“We’ve seen cross party support for rolling out diabetes tech. But now we need to see action.” 


ENDS

Notes to editors

 

Table 1 – Percentages of people living with type 1 diabetes in Scotland using insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors, of all ages and broken down by ages 0-17 and 18+ and by Health Board.

 

 

Insulin Pump usage

CGM Usage

 

Insulin Pump 0-17

Insulin pump 18+

Insulin Pump all ages

CGM 0-17

CGM 18+

CGM all ages

Scotland

48.2%

14.5%

17.7%

31.1%

5.9%

8.3%

NHS Ayrshire & Arran

48.0%

11.5%

15.1%

28.8%

6.5%

8.7%

NHS Borders

48.5%

16.2%

18.9%

21.2%

2.2%

3.8%

NHS Dumfries & Galloway

50.0%

23.7%

26.5%

4.3%

10.9%

10.2%

NHS Fife

69.8%

17.1%

22.1%

62.5%

10.3%

15.2%

NHS Forth Valley

66.7%

15.9%

21.5%

37.1%

14.9%

17.4%

NHS Grampian

40.4%

12.6%

15.4%

21.8%

3.6%

5.4%

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

36.5%

12.9%

15.1%

18.8%

4.6%

5.9%

NHS Highland

33.0%

11.4%

13.3%

27.4%

5.3%

7.3%

NHS Lanarkshire

42.7%

12.1%

15.2%

30.4%

5.1%

7.7%

NHS Lothian

67.6%

19.4%

23.5%

48.0%

5.0%

8.7%

NHS Orkney

66.7%

14.4%

17.6%

55.6%

5.0%

8.1%

NHS Shetland

60.0%

8.4%

13.3%

33.3%

3.5%

6.3%

NHS Tayside

39.1%

14.6%

16.7%

34.8%

4.3%

6.9%

NHS Western Isles

33.3%

12.0%

14.7%

16.7%

6.7%

8.0%

 

*Data on the percentages of people using insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors are correct as of March 2023 and were taken from the Scottish Care Information – Diabetes Collaboration (SCI-DC) database with the permission of each Health Board. Data from previous years, including for NHS Western Isles, is available from the Scottish Diabetes Survey at: www.diabetesinscotland.org.uk/publications/

**Diabetes technology includes any technology that helps people with diabetes to take insulin or monitor their blood sugar levels. The main types of wearable technology are: insulin pumps, which release insulin into the body through a tube, avoiding the need for multiple daily injections; continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and flash glucose monitors, which measure your blood sugar levels through a sensor so you do not have to do painful finger prick tests; hybrid closed loop systems, which connect an insulin pump with a CGM, enabling the pump to adjust your insulin dose automatically in many cases.

***At the end of 2022 there were 339,018 people with a diagnosis of any type of diabetes in Scotland recorded in SCI-Diabetes, reflecting a crude prevalence of 6.2% of the population of all ages. This includes numbers (proportions of the total number of people with diabetes) 35,619 (10.5%) for type 1 diabetes, 297,504 (87.8%) for type 2 diabetes and 5,895 (1.7%) with other forms of diabetes. Source: Scottish Diabetes Survey 2022

**** Four out of five people using tech said it improved their wellbeing in 2022. Source: Diabetes UK, Diabetes is Serious Survey, 2023. Scotland.  Diabetes is Serious – Scotland | Diabetes UK

***** People living in better-off areas of Scotland are 14.5% more likely to use wearable diabetes tech and 18.1% more likely to have been offered diabetes education, which is often required before you can start using technology. Source: Diabetes UK, Diabetes is Serious Survey, 2023. Scotland. Diabetes is Serious – Scotland | Diabetes UK

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