Derek supports charity JDRF to boost access to technology for people with type 1 diabetes

At an event in the House of Commons, Derek Thomas MP called for action to boost access to wearable medical technology for people living with type 1 diabetes.

Research from type 1 diabetes charity JDRF’s new report Pathway to Choice, launched in Parliament, reveals the barriers to accessing medical tech to better treat the condition.

People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day to stay alive. Currently, only a small proportion of people in the UK living with type 1 diabetes use the range of wearable medical devices that are available on the NHS to help manage the condition.

Those who do can have their long-term health outcomes boosted. But the proportion of people with type 1 diabetes who are on an insulin pump, for example, varies from over 40 per cent in some specialist NHS services to less than five per cent in others.

The research from JDRF reveals a range of complex factors behind the barriers to type 1 diabetes technology awareness and access. They include a perception among people affected by type 1 diabetes that healthcare professionals are often resource and time limited – making it harder for conversations about technology to happen.

Derek Thomas MP will draw on the research to ask senior stakeholders at NHS England and Ministers in the Department of Health and Social Care what action they are taking to improve access to technology for people with type 1 diabetes in this area – and reduce the barriers patients currently face.

Speaking at the reception, Derek Thomas MP said: “Long-term health conditions can be challenging to live with. People in St Ives affected by type 1 diabetes deserve the right type of treatment and support.”

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of the type 1 diabetes charity JDRF in the UK, has said of the report: “JDRF believes everyone who wants and would benefit from type 1 diabetes technology should gain access to it.”

She added: “This Pathway to Choice report aims to understand the motivations and barriers people face in making treatment choices. These findings will enable us to explore the types of support people need.”