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Featured Wednesday, Apr 17 2019

People with Type 1 diabetes to check eligibility for Freestyle Libre® trial on the NHS with specialists

Commissioners in East Berkshire are advising residents with Type 1 diabetes to check their eligibility to receive Freestyle Libre® during their next scheduled appointment with a NHS diabetes specialist.

The advice follows NHS England’s announcement that all NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will be, as of April 2019, expected to ensure that the device is made available on prescription for patients who qualify for it in line with NHS clinical guidelines.

Patients can find out more information by clicking on the following ‘Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Freestyle Libre® – a monitoring system which measures glucose levels in people with diabetes using a sensor applied to the skin – does away with the need for inconvenient and sometimes painful finger prick blood tests by relaying glucose levels to a smart phone or e-reader.

Its introduction by all CCGs comes as the NHS seeks to harness the power of digital technology to improve treatment and care in the long term plan, handing patients with conditions such as Type 1 diabetes the knowledge and tools to manage it themselves.

Catriona Khetyar, Head of Medicines Optimisation for East Berkshire CCG, said: “We were due to review our Freestyle Libre® policy this month, so NHS England’s announcement in November last year was very timely. It has given us time to have discussions with our providers around how the devices would best be made available.

“As such, the pathway to obtain Freestyle Libre® here in East Berkshire has been carefully designed by consultants and specialist clinicians and GP diabetes leads.

She added: “Patients should wait to discuss their eligibility for Freestyle Libre® at their next specialist appointment and not with their GP. Please do not contact your diabetes specialist team for an early appointment specifically to discuss Freestyle Libre®.

“If it is clinically appropriate for you to be initiated on Freestyle Libre®, you will be provided with a Freestyle Libre® starter Pack (reader and 1 sensor) by your specialist team. They will then write to your GP confirming your eligibility for NHS prescriptions.

“Your GP will provide on-going monthly prescriptions for the sensors, initially for a six month trial which will then be assessed and reviewed by your consultant.

She concluded: “For those with Type 1 Diabetes who are not currently under the care of a local NHS diabetes specialist team, you can ask your GP to refer you for an appointment to see whether or not you are eligible for the device.”

If you would like to find out more about Freestyle Libre®, understand whether you are eligible or ask any questions about your ongoing diabetes management, please speak to your diabetes specialist.

Note to editor: Catriona Khetyar, Head of Medicines Optimisation, is available for media interviews between 1pm and 3pm today (17/4)). To arrange an interview, please call Anamika Bansal, communications and engagement manager on 01753 636 845.