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July 23, 2005

Insulin Pumps

Question from United Kingdom:

My diabetes team and I are currently trying to get funding for a pump, which is still a rarity in the U.K., from the NHS (National Health Service). There are only two adults in my county with pumps. My doctor is saying that, for another patient that he's trying to get funding for, it is taking a long time because no one in the administration, in the NHS, knows about the pumps/how to handle a request for funding. In the communication between my doctor/me and the Primary Care Trust, is there anything that would be able to speed it up or to get the PCT to handle the requests a bit more efficiently?

Answer:

You are not alone in having this difficulty. In fact, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence guideline lays down criteria for using pumps but they are poorly applicable to children. Essentially, the patient has to have had recurrent severe hypoglycemia despite optimal attempts to control with a basal bolus regimen of insulin injections. You may wish to contact Diabetes UK.

KJR