National Health Services to Provide Free CGMs to Pregnant Women with T1D in UK
National Health Services England announced in January that it would offer continuous glucose monitors to all pregnant women with Type 1 diabetes by 2021. This announcement comes as part of a new ten-year plan designed to provide broader access to self-management tools, specifically of the digital variety. As detailed in The NHS Long Term Plan, those with T1D will also see the availability of flash glucose monitors in April 2019. NHS England seeks to end any “variation” that certain patients in parts of the country face in terms of access.
JDRF’s Chief Executive in the UK, Karen Addington stated: “Type 1 diabetes can be tough to live with. Pregnant women with the condition face particular challenges. Today’s news will help keep mothers and their babies healthy. It will help set world standards for provision of medical technology for pregnant women with Type 1 diabetes. We’re delighted. But we’ll keep pushing for better provision of all Type 1 diabetes tech for all kinds of people with the condition – right across the UK.”
The decision to provide pregnant women with CGMs is most likely a response to the JDRF-funded CONCEPTT study. Strong evidence was gathered that proves the benefit of CGMs for improving the overall health of both mothers and babies.
Addington offered, “This victory is thanks in large part to the strength of JDRF research. It was also achieved by the determination of JDRF supporters, Dr. Partha Kar, NHS England, Diabetes UK and other committed collaborators.”
The NHS plan stated that the Healthier You: National Diabetes Prevention Programme will grant digital access starting 2019 and that those will Type 2 specifically will now have access to the online management tool HeLP Diabetes. There is special importance placed on the ability of technology to provide better access to healthcare.
The plan also went on to indicate that all hospitals would eventually provide multidisciplinary foot care teams and diabetes inpatient specialist nursing teams to assist in recovery and reduce readmission rates and lengths of hospital stays.
The plan stated, “The NHS will increase its contribution to tackling some of the most significant causes of ill health, including new action to help people stop smoking, overcome drinking problems and avoid Type 2 diabetes, with a particular focus on the communities and groups of people most affected by these problems.”