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P
Pa
June 16, 2021

1,000 diabetes patients to be given artificial pancreas

P
Pa
June 16, 2021

LONDON: Around 1,000 diabetes patients are to be given an artificial pancreas, the head of the NHS has announced.

As part of a pilot scheme, patients with type 1 diabetes will be able to use the devices which continuously measure a person’s glucose levels and deliver insulin directly to the bloodstream, automatically balancing the patient’s blood sugar levels.

Speaking at NHS Confederation’s conference, chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said that up to 1,000 patients will benefit from a pilot of the innovative “closed loop technology”. The devices could help eliminate finger prick tests and prevent life-threatening hypoglycaemic attacks.

Sir Simon said that the technology was just “one example of a whole fizz of innovation which continues across the health service”. He said: “In a year that marks a century since insulin was discovered – which revolutionised the world of diabetes – this innovation is a prime example of the NHS’s continued progress in modern medicine and technology.”

Professor Partha Kar, NHS national speciality advisor for diabetes, added: “The NHS has long been at the forefront of clinical advances in care for major diseases, including diabetes, which have allowed patients to live longer and healthier lives.”

Sir Simon also hailed other medical advances in the health service, from new cancer treatments to drugs for spinal muscular atrophy and cystic fibrosis.

Meanwhile, other innovations mean there is a “realistic prospect” that HIV would be eliminated in this country by 2030, he said. And “ground-breaking” deals with drug companies could mean that the nation is “well on track to eliminating hepatitis C, ahead of the 2030 goal set by the World Health Organisation”.

Sir Simon also praised the clinical trials which have taken place in the NHS during the pandemic. “The latest estimate is that as a result of those, over a million lives have been saved worldwide thanks to research done in the NHS, over the course of months not years,” he added.