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Diabetes Scotland publishes Diabetes Tech Can’t Wait campaign report

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Campaigners join Diabetes Scotland to launch recommendations to help decision-makers go further and faster in the rollout of vital tech.

In the photo from left to right: Paul O’Kane MSP, Jenni Minto, Minister for Public Health and Women’s Health, Kirsty French, The Tech Collective, John Kinnear, National Director, Diabetes Scotland, Emma Harper MSP.

On World Diabetes Day 2023 (14 November), Diabetes Scotland launched its Diabetes Tech Can’t Wait campaign report at a parliamentary reception at the Scottish Parliament, grabbing the attention of key stakeholders including Jenni Minto, Minister for Public Health and Women’s Health.

What is the Diabetes Tech Can’t Wait report?

The Diabetes Tech Can’t Wait report into the state of diabetes technology in Scotland has revealed that access to this vital medical equipment is low and that there are large disparities between levels of access in different Health Boards, with people from the poorest areas struggling most to access vital services.   

In March 2022, following a recommendation from the Scottish Health Technologies Group, the Scottish government committed £14.6 million for NHS Boards to roll out hybrid closed loop technologies, also known as an ‘artificial pancreas’, across the country.

In March 2023, Diabetes Scotland launched its Diabetes Tech Can’t Wait campaign to understand what difference this investment has made in access to diabetes technology in Scotland.

The new report shares learning from the campaign and brings together insights from people who have accessed or tried to access diabetes technology. It also showcases areas of good practice in the NHS and innovative approaches to prescribing tech.

Importantly, the report sets out clear recommendations to enable the Scottish government and health system to go further and faster in the rollout of diabetes tech across Scotland, so everyone who can benefit from tech can do so, without having to fight for it. 

Diabetes Scotland is calling for:  

  • National targets to be set to drive forward progress, aiming for 100% of children and 70% of adults with type 1 diabetes to be using hybrid closed technology by 2030
  • Sustained, ringfenced funding to be guaranteed to meet the demand for diabetes technology and cover ongoing costs
  • National training to upskill diabetes clinicians in diabetes technology
  • Ensure that prescribing guidelines are applied consistently and that people aren’t denied tech because they are managing their diabetes “too well” or “not well enough”.

John Kinnear, National Director at Diabetes Scotland, said:

“The Scottish Government has taken some important steps to support the rollout of diabetes technology but the number of people with type 1 diabetes using technology is too low and for too many people across Scotland it simply isn’t available.

“Fair and equal access to diabetes tech for people living with diabetes who could benefit is vitally important as it aims to prevent thousands of people from developing complications and free up NHS resources in the long term. We’ve seen cross-party support for rolling out diabetes tech. But now we need to see action.”

Speakers at the reception were Emma Harper MSP and Paul O’Kane MSP, Co-Conveners of the Cross-Party Group on Diabetes, John Kinnear, National Director, Diabetes Scotland, Kirsty French, The Tech Collective and Jenni Minto, Minister for Public Health and Women’s Health.

Read the Scotland Diabetes Tech Can’t Wait report and some key campaign milestones and highlights.

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