A new method for people with diabetes to measure their glucose levels is coming into use in the Western Isles.

Flash Glucose Monitoring FGM) is the newest method of glucose testing.  The Abbott FreeStyle Libre is currently the only flash glucose monitoring product available, and it is currently only approved in Europe

Libre became available for prescription on the Scottish Drug Tariff on 1st November 2017.

However, an embargo was placed on prescribing across the North of Scotland until an evaluation by Scottish Health & Technologies Group took place.

 Following the evaluation, the embargo has now been lifted. A policy for Libre is now in place.

NHS Western Isles says that: “All prescribing clinicians are aware that the policy states:

 "The decision to initiate and maintain/ stop FGM Libre will be decided upon by Diabetes Specialists within NHS WI.

“This will include Consultant Diabetologists from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde practising under the Obligate Network that exists between NHS WI & NHS GGC."

 The diabetes team will be triaging, arranging training for and appointing service users suitable for Libre in due course.

Highlands & Islands Regional MSP and Shadow Health Minister, David Stewart, says he is delighted to learn that NHS Western Isles have approved the dispensing of the diabetes glucose monitoring system – Freestyle libre, which allows diabetics to monitor their glucose levels in a much more discreet, free and easy manner with little inconvenience whatsoever.

 “I asked the Government Minister, Aileen Campbell MSP, back in June within the Scottish Parliament, which NHS Boards in Scotland offered this advanced system and I was advised that seven Boards did, but none of those were in the Highlands & Islands”, said David Stewart.

 “I am delighted that NHS Western Isles have taken the lead within the Highlands & Islands and now I would like to see the other Boards do likewise.”

David Stewart said: “ Many diabetic constituents and their families have made contact over the months with me seeking to learn when and if the Freestyle Libre will be available on prescription.”