Scottish Government
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Improving Diabetes Care

A further 660 insulin pumps will be available for people with type 1 diabetes in Scotland as part of a £3 million investment announced recently.

The funding will be used to purchase the small medical devices that attach to a person’s body and administer the correct amount of insulin needed, removing the need for insulin injections and making the condition easier to manage.

A dedicated insulin pump support team will also support NHS staff around the country to widen access to the pumps.

The moves come as the Government has reaffirmed its commitment to ensure that 25 per cent of under-18s with type 1 diabetes have access to the pumps, as health boards continue to make the progress the Government wants to see in this area.

Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson said:

"The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring people with diabetes get the best possible care.

“It is very encouraging that some boards have already met our ambitious commitment, to ensure that 25 per cent of children and teens with type 1 diabetes now have access to a pump.

“Since 2009, we have more than doubled the total number of people on insulin pumps and the number of people starting insulin pump therapy each year. All boards have worked to develop their pump services capacity and staff skills and this good practice will be shared to ensure diabetes services as whole continue to improve in future.

“While we welcome the progress made, I am disappointed that not all boards have yet met the commitment and I remain determined that they continue to work towards this rightly ambitious goal.

“That is why we are providing this additional investment, to support boards to deliver their actions plans to achieve this commitment safely and ensure insulin pumps are available right across Scotland.”

Jane-Claire Judson, National Director of Diabetes UK Scotland, said:

"This small piece of equipment, the size of a mobile phone, can be life-changing for people with Type 1 diabetes. This is why access to them is such an important campaign issue for Diabetes UK Scotland and, more importantly, for those living with or supporting others with diabetes.

"Today's welcome announcement reaffirms the Scottish Government's commitment to the provision of insulin pumps to those who can benefit from them and sets out the progress made by health boards in Scotland to increase delivery of this vital service.

“The work that our healthcare professionals have put in is demonstrating real impact on patient's quality of life. The focus now must be on building on this first year to ensure equitable care and ensuring consistent delivery on the commitment to pumps in each health board area.

“The recognition and commitment to this by the Minister for Public Health serves to instil confidence amongst people with diabetes living in Scotland that this will be achieved."

Insulin pumps are not suitable for everyone with type 1 diabetes.

The £3 million investment in insulin pumps therapy is in addition to the £2.5 million investment made in 2012. The additional pumps will be distributed to NHS boards as required by their insulin services over the course of the next year.

Related Information:

Information on health board’s progress to ensure that eligible under 18s with type 1 diabetes have access to insulin pumps is available on the Diabetes In Scotland website.

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