Free life-changing glucose monitors available for diabetes patients

The new device will help patients to manage their condition better.

The new device will help patients to manage their condition better. - Credit: Archant

Life-changing equipment which helps people with diabetes to manage their condition is now available for free in North Somerset.

Flash glucose monitors help people with diabetes to test their blood glucose levels more frequently - helping to reduce complications and hospital admission costs.

The device has been available on the NHS since November 2017, but its use was subject to approval by local health bodies and only a handful had made them available to people who met the criteria.

As of April, the technology will be rolled out across the country, giving more people access to the life-changing device.

Healthwatch North Somerset has been campaigning for the equipment to be more widely available and it is delighted with the news.

Vicky Marriott, operations manager for Healthwatch North Somerset said: "We have been told that from April 1, 2019, patients with type one diabetes can now be prescribed the device by the Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG) and it is available in North Somerset at no cost if patients meet certain national guidelines.

"NHS England will reimburse CCGs for the ongoing cost of the glucose sensors."

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A spokesperson for Diabetes UK said: "This is a huge step forward and is intended to increase the numbers of people accessing Flash from around 3 per cent up to an estimated 20 per cent of the type one diabetes population in England."

Many people with diabetes need to check their blood glucose levels multiple times a day - this usually involves a finger-prick blood test.

However, the new flash glucose monitoring - known as Flash - uses a small sensor which people wear on their skin.

It records their blood sugar levels continuously and can be read by scanning the sensor whenever needed.

The device helps people to test more frequently and enables them to better manage their diabetes, which can reduce the risk of serious complications such as amputation, sight loss and stroke.

To qualify for the Flash device, patients will need to meet certain criteria.

For more information on the device and the criteria, visit