Burnley MP Julie Cooper has welcomed news that local diabetes patients can now access monitoring devices free of charge on the NHS.
The announcement by NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group will see monitoring devices available free of charge on the NHS to those diabetic patients in Burnley and Padiham who meet the qualifying criteria from as early as mid-November.
The monitoring devices, designed to reduce harmful fluctuations in blood glucose levels, allow patients to intervene more quickly than through finger pricking methods.
The monitors had previously been available at no cost to the patient in some CCGs across the country but not in other areas including East Lancashire, where patients wishing to obtain a monitor needed to buy them privately at an initial cost of over £150, followed by charges of more than £100 each month.
Shadow Health Minister for Communities Julie Cooper said: “I was extremely pleased to hear this announcement. It is good to know the CCG has listened to those of us who have been contacting them to ask them to reconsider their policy, and has ended the postcode lottery of treatment available to people living with diabetes in our local area.
“I have been contacted by so many constituents from Burnley and Padiham, anxious to secure the best possible treatment to help manage their diabetes.
"They were understandably angry by the unfairness of a system which provided fully NHS funded monitors to some people but not others based purely on their address. Whilst monitors were available to buy, they were financially out of reach for many people who may otherwise have benefited.
"It is important to understand however that the monitors are not suitable for everyone with diabetes and that there are strict medical criteria which determine this. The monitors can only be prescribed by diabetes specialists in hospitals and other specialists such as Diabetes Specialist Nurses to ensure that the provision of a monitor is safe and effective for each individual patient.”