Flash comes to town – by Chris Askew

We hear often at Diabetes UK from people with diabetes that they want access to new technologies that can help them manage their diabetes. Today’s news that flash glucose monitoring will be made available across the NHS in the UK is just that; a technology which, evidence suggests, can improve diabetes control and quality of life.

Not a replacement for continuous glucose monitoring for everyone, but an innovation which can help someone understand their glycaemia, know what happens after eating or during sport or when insulin to carb ratios need tweaking.

An innovation which can do away with waking children – or other loved ones, for that matter – at night to ‘scratch’ fingers; which can ease the burden and discomfort of home blood glucose monitoring for many. And an innovation which will spawn more research, more understanding more education and more products, just as when the first strips for testing blood glucose came to market in the 60s. I have heard direct from parents and from those who have lived with their diabetes for many years, just how transformative they have found living with flash technology.

Alongside other patient groups, charities and clinical leaders, we have made the case for the provision of flash monitoring and we have brought the views and voices of people with diabetes who stand to benefit from this technology to the fore. We’ve brought together a group of experts which includes healthcare professionals, other diabetes organisations and people living with diabetes, to draft a guidance for the use of flash glucose monitoring. And we’ve taken a different tack at times to make the case; our Flashdance video alone was seen over 300,000 times.

There’s much to be done yet, as we work with commissioners and health systems across the UK to ensure there is correct and equitable provision and re-imbursement and that there is adequate guidance and education on the take up and use of flash glucose monitoring.

But for now, a time to recognise the significance of this announcement and to acknowledge the work of many different groups and individuals in supporting this step change in diabetes care. Welcome to the future …

More information on our flash campaign

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