UK expert panel welcomes latest guidance on type 1 diabetes

A panel of leading experts has welcomed the guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommending the use of hybrid closed loop systems for managing blood glucose levels in the management of type 1 diabetes in England & Wales.

The expert panel was chaired by Professor Partha Kar National Specialty Advisor, Diabetes, NHS England and included: Dr Alistair Lumb, Consultant in Diabetes and Acute General Medicine at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Geraldine Gallen, Senior diabetes specialist nurse at King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Rachael Chrisp, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the charity JDRF.

The panel agreed that this multi technology appraisal, to be implemented in a phased approach over five years, will expand access to the most advanced automated insulin delivery (AID) systems which will help simplify diabetes management and improve glycemic outcomes for an additional 150,000 people regardless of their location or social background within these regions. 

Priority will be given to children, pregnancy (including women trying for pregnancy), and adults with a HbA1c of 7.5% or above, or who have disabling hypoglycemia, despite optimal management with legacy technology.

“We’ve witnessed universal coverage of CGM in England & Wales shatter tech barriers for underserved communities, unleashing diabetes empowerment for all. With this decision, the benefits of hybrid closed loop therapy, the most advanced diabetes technology on the market, will be available as standard to the vast majority, regardless of background. This will make the UK one of the most progressive countries in terms of treating type 1 diabetes,” said Professor Partha Kar.

The panel called for investment in education for healthcare professionals so that they can be confident in discussing the technology-enabled support available to patients, as more people will be moving towards using closed loop to manage their condition. The experts also supported greater coordination with industry to increase awareness amongst healthcare professionals and patients so they are aware of the technology and can be confident in its use. 

“This decision reinforces that CGM alone is not enough to manage diabetes and recognises that hybrid closed loop systems can, and should, be considered as standard of care for people with type 1 diabetes,” said Susan Monaghan, Senior Business Director for Medtronic Diabetes in the United Kingdom, Ireland and BeNeLux region. “While there are clinical and legitimate reasons for a person to decide not to use a hybrid closed loop system, the healthcare provider who does not offer such technology for a qualifying person living with type 1 diabetes should justify the reason why they are not doing so given the elimination of cost. This will ensure equitable access across the country.” 

Final guidance is expected to be published in December 2023. For further information, visit: https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/nice-recommends-life-changing-technology-is-rolled-out-to-people-with-type-1-diabetes

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