Petitioning the NHS in Crawley in support of people with Diabetes

In recent days our country’s exit from the European Union has attracted large amounts of coverage. This is to be expected, of course, however I have been working on numerous other issues affecting Crawley residents on a day-to-day basis this past week.

To mark World Diabetes Day on Wednesday, 14th November, I was pleased to present a petition of Crawley residents in the House of Commons calling on our local NHS to provide flash glucose monitoring devices, such as FreeStyle Libre, for people locally who are living with Diabetes.

Such devices offer assistance to Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics in living with their condition on a daily basis, by giving them the ability to test glucose levels without the need to continually prick their finger throughout the day with a needle and drawing blood to use a test strip to check their blood sugar reading.

The FreeStyle Libre works by having a small sensor on your body automatically measuring and continuously storing glucose readings day and night, which can be read via a sensor (the size of a £2 coin) in seconds using a pocket-sized scanner.

Our petition calls for the Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group to provide this support for Diabetics locally, whose daily lives would be enhanced by wider availability of this device. Currently, Crawley is one of around a fifth of CCGs which have decided not to make flash glucose monitoring available.

Hours before I presented this petition in the Commons, NHS England announced that from next April, Type 1 Diabetics will be able to receive FreeStyle Libre on prescription from their local GP or Diabetes team, which will help them to better manage their blood sugar levels.

This is a positive development, and I welcome this intervention from the Government which will ensure widespread access to this life-changing technology for Type 1 Diabetics in Crawley and throughout England.

However, I am continuing to call for this support to be provided to all Diabetics in Crawley ahead of the changes in April.

Henry Smith MP