DORSET Clinical Commissioning Group's decision not to immediately make available a pain-free monitoring system for diabetics has been slammed by the county's health watchdog.

Healthwatch Dorset chair, Joyce Guest, criticised the authority's decision as 'a postcode lottery' which was 'clearly not fair'. "People deserve immediate access to this technology," she said.

People with Type 1 diabetes in Dorset have been campaigning for more than a year to receive the FreeStyle Libre flash monitoring system which allows them to monitor blood glucose levels without having to complete painful pin-prick blood tests. Unlike the previous method, flash monitoring allows them to wear a sensor on their arm and to check the blood glucose by passing a scanner over it. Prime Minister Theresa May uses one.

Last month the government announced that from April next year, flash monitoring should be made available on the NHS to everyone who is in need of it. However, the method was licensed for NHS use nearly two years ago.

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group estimates that the cost of providing the device to diabetic people in the county would top £2 million and told the Bournemouth Echo that it would not be funding its earlier introduction.

Joyce Guest has now asked the CCG for more information on their decision and has promised to follow up their request.

"These monitors reduce the need for painful finger prick blood tests and empower people to better manage their diabetes," she said. "Local people have been campaigning for better access to these monitors in Dorset now, while we understand that in our neighbouring counties of Somerset and Hampshire they are already more widely available. The current postcode lottery is clearly not fair, people deserve equal access to this technology."