NHS risking people's health by rationing test strips, Diabetes UK says
The NHS is putting diabetic patients at risk of serious illness by rationing test strips that monitor blood glucose levels in an attempt to save money, a charity claims.
A survey carried out by Diabetes UK found that one in four complained of restrictions placed on the number of test strips they were prescribed by GP practices.
People with diabetes need to test their blood glucose regularly to monitor the condition. If not managed properly, diabetes can lead to health complications such as heart disease, strokes, blindness and amputations.
More than half of those professing problems had type 1 diabetes. Government guidance says this group should test themselves at least four times a day. Older people and those on low incomes were also affected, the charity found. Many said they felt they needed to buy test stripsonline, where quality cannot always be guaranteed.
People with diabetes were given a variety of reasons for the reduced number of strips prescribed, according to the charity. Some respondents to the survey said they had been told they should test less often. Some were told there were “budget constraints”, while others were told it was because they were testing too frequently.
“They said I had my allowance for the month,” said one respondent. Another said: “I was told they were expensive and we should test less. Only need to test four times a day. We use a pump, so need to test every two hours.”
Some said they were having to ask for repeat prescriptions more often. “I now need to order and collect a prescription monthly, or sooner, depending on any issu Continue reading