I am Chair of the Cross Party Group on Diabetes. So a debate about the Health Committee’s report on Access to Medical Technologies gave me the opportunity to talk about insulin pumps.
Insulin pumps can transform the lives of people with diabetes as they offer precise doses of insulin to people who are having difficulty controlling their sugar levels. An insulin pump is a discreet external device that delivers constant doses of insulin that helps them to control their diabetes.
Wales has a much lower level of uptake for insulin pump technologies than other countries like the United States, Germany or Norway.
Some people have found that an insulin pump can transform their lives: ‘Since using a pump, my control has improved, complications are significantly reduced and I’ve been able to live a near normal life. Some of this is down to the education that comes prior to receiving a pump, but wearing it has enabled me to take control rather than the condition controlling me.’
Individuals have to be trained to understand how the pump works and how to maximise its benefits. In some parts of Wales, people are on waiting lists for pumps because there is a shortage of staff who have been trained to show patients how they work.
I hope that the report will encourage the Government to accelerate the use of medicaltechnologies which are proven to work; they can reduce costs to the NHS in the long term.
To read the full debate click here.