A CAMPAIGN by Dorset people with diabetes to get a new, pain-free monitoring system supplied by the NHS has moved a step nearer.

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group has announced a six-month pilot of the Freestyle Libre blood glucose monitoring device for 200 people in three specific groups of diabetic patients in the county. It monitors blood sugar levels without the need for constant blood tests.

The device, which has been approved for NHS use by NICE, the government’s evaluation committee, has to be paid for in Dorset despite it being supplied free in most other health areas in the south west.

However, campaigner Neil Absolom, a diabetic who started a petition to try and have the device offered on the NHS locally, was unimpressed.

"I know it works because I was put on a trial and it's amazing," he said. "If I lived in Hampshire or Somerset I would get it free but Dorset won't allow it."

He accused the CCG of 'foot-dragging' claiming that because of the NICE decision the CCG's decision not to hand out the device would have to be reviewed in November. "The CCG have to review this every year so maybe they are just pushing back the review," he said. "I think they are panicking because of the amount of people on the petition, which is more than 1,700."

In a statement issued to the Daily Echo earlier this month, Dorset CCG said there was 'limited data' to confirm the device would result in better controlled diabetes and that 'more data is also required to confirm effectiveness of this technology in less well controlled diabetes'.

In a statement issued yesterday, the CCG said it had: “Continued to review emerging evidence and cost effectiveness information for the use of the Freestyle Libre as it has become available, including an analysis carried out by Health Improvement Scotland, which was published in July.

“After reviewing this new information along with processes followed by other CCGs around the country, it was agreed that Freestyle Libre would be piloted with certain patients for a six-month trial.”

The device – reportedly the same one used by Prime Minister Theresa May - allows people with diabetes to have a patch on their arm which can be painlessly swiped to reveal the level of their blood sugars. People with type 1 diabetes, where the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin, can suffer serious illness and effects, if their blood sugars do not remain at the correct level.