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Closed loop systems to be considered for all who could benefit in Scotland

JDRF is delighted to have contributed to a new report, published in January 2022, which has issued recommendations for NHS Scotland, aimed at widening access to closed loop systems for all people with type 1 diabetes in Scotland.
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Kate Lawton 4 February 2022

The artificial pancreas

In Autumn 2021, JDRF responded to a call for evidence from the Scottish Health Technologies Group (SHTG), who sought views from patient representatives on the benefits and considerations of closed loop systems for people with type 1 diabetes.

JDRF recommended that everyone with type 1 diabetes could benefit from closed loop technology, and diabetes appointments should include informed discussions about the technology’s suitability for them. JDRF is pleased that this has been taken on board by the Scottish Health Technology Group when putting forward its recommendations to NHS Scotland.

The Group’s report acknowledges that rapidly advancing diabetes technologies, such as closed loop systems and the artificial pancreas, have the potential to transform the lives of people living with type 1 diabetes.

As such, they recommend that closed loop systems should be made available to all people with type 1 diabetes who have difficulty meeting their blood glucose targets, are at high risk of severe hypoglycaemia, have reduced awareness of hypoglycaemia, or are experiencing diabetes distress, which is likely to be improved by moving to a closed loop system.

People who are meeting their blood glucose targets using their current technology are recommended to remain using it, but this will be “subject to their circumstances and quality of life.” This person-centred approach that gives greater weight to lived experience and patient preference is a pivotal step towards equal access to diabetes technology in Scotland.

JDRF’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Rachael Chrisp, who gave evidence to the consultation, said: “People with type 1 diabetes who already use closed loop systems consistently tell JDRF about its massive impact on improving their wellbeing, so it was crucial that our evidence highlighted the quality of life and mental health benefits of this technology; as well as the improvements in HbA1c that reduce costs to the NHS in the longer term.

“We are pleased to have been able to advocate for the widened access to this technology that the report recommends, and see a real consideration for quality of life in the recommendations.”

These recommendations will now be put to NHS Scotland, making this report a crucial step towards enabling thousands more people with type 1 diabetes to access this ground breaking closed loop technology.

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