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11/12/16 00:01

Better treatment for type 1 diabetes

£10 million for better access to pumps and equipment.

A new plan to improve the management of type 1 diabetes will be backed by £10 million of Scottish Government investment.

The additional funding will be used to increase the provision of insulin pumps, which deliver insulin into the body without the need for injections.

It will also help to provide more people with continuous glucose monitoring equipment. These devices alert the user if their blood glucose levels are running too high or low, helping them to manage their food and insulin intake.

There are currently around 3,200 insulin pumps in use in Scotland – an increase of more than 400% since 2010 thanks to a £7.5 million Scottish Government programme. The extra investment will further increase adult insulin pump provision for across Scotland over the next five years.

The funding will allow for a substantial increase in the provision of continuous glucose monitoring kits. These will be provided to priority groups including people who experience particularly severe cases of hypoglycaemia - where blood sugar levels fall dangerously low - and young children.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke about the Scottish Government’s commitment to improve diabetes care when she attended the 30th anniversary of the UK founding of type 1 diabetes charity JDRF in Edinburgh this week. The charity supports the discovery of better treatments – and one day the cure – for type 1 diabetes, working with academics, industry and governments.

Type 1 diabetes affects around 30,000 people in Scotland.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

“We know that insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring kits can make it much easier for some people to manage their type 1 diabetes. Proper control is absolutely key to improving outcomes and preventing complications from developing.

“This new investment will increase the provision of this equipment, meaning it’s available to many more people, and making it easier for them to lead healthy lives.

“Type 1 diabetes is a significant health challenge right across the world and Scotland is no exception. To address this the Scottish Government has increased the number of insulin pumps fourfold since 2010, and we’re also funding ground-breaking research at the University of Dundee – the biggest study of its kind in Europe – involving more than 6000 patients.”

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF in the UK, said:

“Evidence shows this type 1 diabetes technology, provided alongside support and training for its use, can improve lives. We welcome the announcement of increased funding to improve access to it.”