Diabetic Children to benefit from £1.5m increase in insulin pump provision


Additional funding of £1.5 million is to be made available to further help children with type 1 diabetes to have access to life-changing insulin pumps

The pumps are small medical devices that are attached to the individual’s body and are programmed to administer the correct amount of insulin needed, removing the need for insulin injections and making the condition easier to manage.

All eligible under 18s with type 1 diabetes will have access to insulin pumps under a £1m commitment announced earlier in the year.  The extra funding will help Boards to deliver on this commitment.

Over the next three years, NHS Boards will also increase the number of insulin pumps  available to all Scots to 2,000, tripling the current amount.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said:

“For young people with type 1 diabetes, having to administer regular insulin jags can mean they are not able to live life to the fullest. Insulin pumps make it easier to manage diabetes and can help give these children a normal childhood.

“I have already given my commitment that by the end of March 2013, pumps will be made available to the 480 children and teens struggling with type 1 diabetes who could benefit from them. I am now pleased to announce this extra support to ensure this important pledge is delivered.”

Rebekah Sutherland, from Grampian, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just weeks after her third birthday in 1998.  By 2009 she was injecting insulin eight times daily until March 2010 when Rebekah, then 14, was fitted with an insulin pump.

Rebekah said:

“I cannot remember what life was like without diabetes, it is a fact of life for me but can still be a hassle. 

“Before I was given my pump my daily routine was really rigid and my injections and meals had to be at set times.  What a difference my pump has made!  I can even enjoy a lie in, which was unheard of when injections dictated my life.

“Injecting meant I couldn’t miss a meal which isn’t always easy.  About six months before I got my insulin pump I caught a winter vomiting bug.   Despite being so sick I had to continuing eating which was horrible. 

“When I first got my insulin pump it was a bit scary as I was worried I would do something wrong or break it.  But I soon got the hang of it and now it is second nature.

“I’m proud of my pump. I never hide my pump under my clothing, it’s always clipped to my waistband.  I used to be a competitive swimmer and wore it all the time during training – I just clipped it onto the back of my costume.  At the recent Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Ball, I even clipped it to the back of my ball gown.  My insulin pump is part of me.”

Rebekah’s Mum Gwen added: “As a parent, it is amazing to see the enormous difference the pump has made to the quality of Rebekah’s life. The pump gives her the freedom she has not had for nearly 14 years but although our family’s daily routine is still dominated by diabetes, life is much more flexible when compared to the years of life with numerous daily insulin injections.”

Jane-Claire Judson, Director of Diabetes UK Scotland said,

“As the national charity for people with diabetes, we are delighted at this latest announcement. We were already encouraged by the £1m investment announced in March. £2.5 is therefore a tremendous boost. Every Health Board in Scotland should now be in a position to deliver pumps to people with Type 1 diabetes who need them.

“For far too long access to insulin pump therapy across Scotland has been shockingly low but, with the support of people living with diabetes, the Scottish Government has at last found a way to make real progress. This announcement is great news for people with Type 1 diabetes who will soon start to see a real improvement in access to this life-changing therapy.”

A total of £2.5million has now been invested.  Insulin pumps constantly drip feed tiny amounts of insulin throughout the day and can be programmed to increase the amount of insulin as required.

NICE Guidance on eligibility for insulin pump therapy suggests that between four per cent and 14 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes may benefit from treatment.

11.6 per cent of people with diabetes in Scotland have type 1 diabetes. The number of people with type 1 diabetes has increased from 26,294 in 2006 to 27,910 in 2010. There are 2,872 people under the age of 18 with type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes develops when there is a severe lack of insulin in the body because most or all of the cells in the pancreas that produce it have been destroyed. This type of diabetes usually appears in people under the age of 40, often in childhood.