THE NHS in Scotland has been given £3 million to improve diabetes services after health boards missed a target to increase the number of young people using insulin pumps.
• A further 660 insulin pumps will now be made available
• A target for 25 per cent of under-18s with type 1 diabetes to have the devices by the end of March was missed
A further 660 pumps - which deliver insulin into the body without the need for regular injections - will be made available to young people across Scotland after the funding was announced by the Scottish Government.
A target for 25 per cent of under-18s with type 1 diabetes to have the devices by the end of March was missed, with the total standing at just 16 per cent across Scotland.
While some boards exceeded the target, other fell well below, including 8.3 per cent in Lanarkshire, 2.9 per cent in Highland and 0 per cent in the Western Isles.
The £3 million announced by ministers will be used to pay for hundreds more of the pumps, which attach to a patient’s body and deliver the correct amount of insulin depending on their blood sugar levels.
The devices are particularly attractive to younger patients as they remove the need for injections and make the condition easier to manage, though they are not suitable for all patients.
Concerns have previously been raised that many people who would benefit from the pumps have been denied the chance to try one due to a lack of access through the NHS.
The Scottish Government has now reaffirmed its commitment to making sure 25 per cent of under-18s with diabetes have an insulin pump.
As well as the extra funding, a dedicated insulin pump support team will also help NHS staff around the country widen access to the equipment.
Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson said while they welcomed the progress made, he was disappointed that not all boards had yet met the target to increase access to the pumps.
“I remain determined that they continue to work towards this rightly ambitious goal,” he said.