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JDRF report highlights access to type 1 technology barriers

By Editor
6th February 2020
Insulin pumps, Technology Type 1 diabetes

Recommendations to improve access to medical technology for people with type 1 diabetes have been shared in a JDRF report.

They are part of the Pathway to Choice programme and are based on the opinions of people with the condition about the provision of wearable medical technology choices.

The report features three broad suggestions, listed below, and provides details on each one:

  •  People with type 1 diabetes should have more time with specialist healthcare professionals at appointments.
  • Healthcare professionals should receive mandatory training on type 1 diabetes technology.
  • Clinical commissioning groups should do more to reach people with type 1 diabetes from lower socio-economic groups.

One of the recommendations includes the creation of a national diabetes register, modelled on Scotland’s SCI-Diabetes. This would have several functions including mapping type 1 diabetes technology uptake, recording spend breakdown per prescribed device, providing regional statistics regarding health outcomes, and empowering clinicians to see patient data in one system. Furthermore, ideally the register could also track which healthcare professionals are trained in which type 1 diabetes technologies.

Launch event

The report was launched at a special parliamentary event on Tuesday, February 4, to build awareness and access to type 1 diabetes technology choices such as insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, and flash glucose monitors.

Currently, just 30 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes reach their recommended blood glucose targets, putting them at greater risk of health complications. Only a small proportion of people in the UK who have type 1 diabetes use the range of wearable medical devices that are available on the NHS.

But the proportion of people with type 1 diabetes who are on an insulin pump, for example, varies from more than 40 per cent in some specialist NHS services to less than five per cent in others.

The findings will help JDRF to explore the types of support and interventions that can develop to help people living with type 1 diabetes choose the best possible treatments.

Karen Addington JDRF’s Chief Executive said: “JDRF believes everyone who wants and would benefit from type 1 diabetes technology should gain access to it.

“This Pathway to Choice report aims to understand the motivations and barriers people face in making treatment choices. These findings will enable us to explore the types of support people need.”

The report’s findings indicate there are a range of complex factors behind the barriers to type 1 diabetes technology awareness and access.

They include:

  • Education and access to information
  • Social-economic and financial
  • Attitudinal and physical

To read the report in full, click here.

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