Health chiefs reassure East Lancs diabetics over sugar test strips

HEALTH chiefs insisted there are no restrictions on ‘vital’ test strips for diabetics in East Lancashire, after a national report found one in five patients had been ‘denied the chance to monitor their blood glucose levels’.

The Diabetes UK charity said the blood sugar test strips were being rationed by NHS managers to save money, with wide variation around the country.

The strips are an essential part of managing Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

When a diabetic pricks themselves to draw blood, they apply it to the test strip. A small electronic meter can then detect how much blood glucose is present.

Gordon Dixon, chairman of the Ribble Valley branch of Diabetes UK, said he has heard ‘anecdotal evidence’ of strips being rationed in East Lancashire, but had not experienced problems.

He said: “We do think it’s going on. I know of someone who now gets one strip instead of two.”

But GP commissioners, who took over health budgets in April, said in a joint statement: “Neither East Lancashire or Blackburn with Darwen clinical commissioning groups restrict the availability of diabetes glucose testing strips. In fact statistics recently published by the Advancing Quality Allia-nce, a North West body aiming to improve the quality of health care, show that prescribing of glucose testing strips per patient on the GP diabetes register is higher than the national average in the East Lancashire area.”

Barbara Young, chief executive at Diabetes UK, said of the national findings: “When people with Type 1 or insulin-treated Type 2 diabetes have their test strips restricted or denied it has a huge impact on their life.

“Our survey showed lack of test strips was stopping them driving.”

Comments (6)

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7:56am Sat 3 Aug 13

happyexpat says...

Until late 2010 I lived in Burnley, and had done for over 40 years. I was a patient of a local Medical Centre (details can be provided if required). I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I received the necessary treatment, but after attending a self help course to help me monitor my condition, and being told that I needed to monitor my Blood sugar levels, I asked my Doctor for a prescription for the strips and requisite meter. I was told categorically that, due to the cost to the practice/NHS, these items were not prescribed to patients with Type 2 diabetes as they were deemed to be unnecessary. I had to buy my own. Here in Greece I obtain them via prescription. A cover-up me thinks!!!
Until late 2010 I lived in Burnley, and had done for over 40 years. I was a patient of a local Medical Centre (details can be provided if required). I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I received the necessary treatment, but after attending a self help course to help me monitor my condition, and being told that I needed to monitor my Blood sugar levels, I asked my Doctor for a prescription for the strips and requisite meter. I was told categorically that, due to the cost to the practice/NHS, these items were not prescribed to patients with Type 2 diabetes as they were deemed to be unnecessary. I had to buy my own. Here in Greece I obtain them via prescription. A cover-up me thinks!!! happyexpat

8:25am Sat 3 Aug 13

Watcher Too says...

Gps are also rationing blood meters and test strips. Its just away of of saving money so that at the end of the day GPs can pay themselves more, not to save money for the NHS.
Gps are also rationing blood meters and test strips. Its just away of of saving money so that at the end of the day GPs can pay themselves more, not to save money for the NHS. Watcher Too

10:02am Sat 3 Aug 13

jimpy0 says...

Dont tar all Gp's with the same brush, i get meters and strips via my Gp as and when needed, its down to the individuals or practices.
Dont tar all Gp's with the same brush, i get meters and strips via my Gp as and when needed, its down to the individuals or practices. jimpy0

10:04am Sat 3 Aug 13

mavrick says...

I think you will also find a post code lottery for drugs in east lancs, some will provide by prescription and quite a lot won't. Doctors need to realise it is our NHS and not their private business, They should be grateful to the nhs for the training they received. People need to be more vociferous in defence of our NHS. Private contractors in the north west are taking nhs contracts hand over fist only it is not publicised.
I think you will also find a post code lottery for drugs in east lancs, some will provide by prescription and quite a lot won't. Doctors need to realise it is our NHS and not their private business, They should be grateful to the nhs for the training they received. People need to be more vociferous in defence of our NHS. Private contractors in the north west are taking nhs contracts hand over fist only it is not publicised. mavrick

12:00pm Sat 3 Aug 13

Ian the Beancounter says...

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2000. I bought my own meter (about £10) but I've never had a problem obtaining the testing strips on prescription.
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2000. I bought my own meter (about £10) but I've never had a problem obtaining the testing strips on prescription. Ian the Beancounter

2:24pm Sat 3 Aug 13

BIG BOSS says...

My Brother-in law, has been a diabetic for 25 years, his wife became a diabetic 10 years ago, she asked her doctor for the test strips and meter and he told her to use her husbands, hardly hygienic or helpful.!
My Brother-in law, has been a diabetic for 25 years, his wife became a diabetic 10 years ago, she asked her doctor for the test strips and meter and he told her to use her husbands, hardly hygienic or helpful.! BIG BOSS

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