Parents win insulin pump battle for daughter
THE parents of a four-year-old girl who has diabetes have won a battle to have her fitted with a vital insulin pump after they were told they would have to wait three years before one would be available.
Scotland on Sunday first publicised the plight of Amalia Holman, who lives in Linlithgow, West Lothian, in April.
She was diagnosed at the start of 2009 with Type 1 diabetes, caused by a deficiency of insulin, making her dependent on her parents, David and Triinu, to ensure she received regular insulin injections by syringe, vital in maintaining her blood glucose levels. But her parents found that this manual method was ineffective in stabilising her condition, raising fears that she could die or suffer serious harm if the situation persisted.
They had asked NHS Lothian to fit Amalia with an insulin pump, which delivers insulin to its user automatically and would best suit her condition. However, the board had said that the waiting list for the equipment was three years and that there were not enough staff to keep pace with demand to train parents to use it. But, following a campaign of lobbying by Amalia's parents, local MSP Mary Mulligan, and other affected families, NHS Lothian has now agreed to fit her with a pump, having revised their scheme and cut the waiting time for all patients to just nine months.
The health board has managed this by enlisting the help of diabetes specialist nurses (DSNs) attached to a number of pump manufacturers as well as seconding in two specialists from Fife to help out.
The result of these changes means that instead of only two children being put on to pumps every six months, as was the case under the old system, NHS Lothian are now putting three children a month on the pump.
David said: "We've had a really bad period over the past two weeks with her injections and that's the problem, it's a temperamental condition," he said. "But knowing that in a month's time we're going on the pump, we can cope with the bad times."
Professor Alex McMahon, acting director, Strategic Planning and Modernisation, NHS Lothian, confirmed that all 19 children on the list were expected to be in pump training by November this year.
"It comes after funding was set aside for new pumps," he said.
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