Patients to benefit from flash glucose testing

Patients at University Hospitals of North Midlands with Type 1 diabetes are set to benefit from a new state-of-the-art Flash device that monitors glucose levels continuously. Thanks to recent funding from NHS England, the device called the Freestyle Libre, is now available on prescription for patients that meet the criteria.

 Flash glucose monitors are a way of measuring your sugar levels without having to prick your fingers. This device, which is the only one manufactured at this current time, is a small sensor that you wear just under your skin and records glucose or sugar levels throughout the day and night. The user can then scan the sensor using an electronic reader or their phone. This provides a much clearer picture of the patient's glucose levels.

The diabetes team at UHNM have fully embraced giving patient's access to this technology to enable them to easily manage their long term health condition, by supplying 220 patients to free trials since May 2019. The first 70 patients who took part in this free trial will soon find out if they have met the continuation criteria, allowing them to have a Freestyle Libre on prescription.

The are several advantages to using the Flash sensor rather than the traditional finger prick test such as; ability to see trends in sugar levels as the patient has access to the last eight hours of data, tighter control of sugar levels thanks to the continuous monitoring and more confidence in managing their diabetes.

 Tamsin Fletcher-Salt, Diabetes Specialist Nurse, said: "We have had a great response from patients who have trialled the Freestyle Libre, and as a team we have found that it has been extremely beneficial for patients who struggle to monitor their sugars during work hours, as the Libre allows for more quick and convenient testing.

 "The diabetes team at UHNM are continuing to work towards putting digital health and technology at the forefront of diabetes care, in turn providing a more holistic approach to care."

 51 year-old Matthew Jackson from Leek has had type 1 diabetes for 33 years and has had a Freestyle Libre since July. He said: "The Libre makes testing my blood sugar more convenient and easy. I feel that it allows my control to be very good, and allows me to track trends easily. It really helps with predictions and hypo awareness, in turn avoiding low blood sugar. The Freestyle Libre really does make a difference to your life."