The Pharmacy Lead Mid and South Essex (MSE)
CCG introduced the report and stated that though this report, the
CCG would be liaising with the three main providers of FreeStyle Libra, and other independent providers.
He stated that this report had been
driven by a mandate from the NHS to make the technology
available to eligible patients, and the CCG had been engaging with
local service providers to determine whether the scheme was
clinically cost-effective. He stated that so far the team had
determined the patient cohorts who would be eligible, and these
were categorised into Type 1, who were diabetic controlled and had
mental health issues so could not use finger pricks, and Type 2
which included pregnant women and people with mental and physical
disabilities. He stated that these patient cohorts had been agreed by the CCG and they were currently
working to identify patients who fit into these categories. The
Pharmacy Lead MSE CCG moved onto describe how the Flash Glucose
Monitoring System worked and how it identified blood glucose
levels. He stated that eligible patients would be assessed and
trained in how to use the system, which would
then be monitored by GPs who proved the sensors. He
clarified that after six months the GP would determine whether the
new system was working for the patient, based on how many
traditional testing strips had been
used, compared to the new lancet system. He then drew the
Committee’s attention to section 3.2 and 3.3 of the
report which had shown, that although
the project was still in the early phases, the number of
traditional test strips being used by eligible patients had
decreased. He stated that funding had been
received from NHS England for the project for two years and
20% of Type 1 patients, and Thurrock CCG were under the expected
The Chair began the debate and stated that a number of Thurrock residents had emailed Councillors asking why they were not eligible for the new system, and asked for clarification. The Pharmacy Lead MSE CCG replied that not all diabetic patients met the NHS’ criteria for the FreeStyle Libra system, and even the people using the new system still had to revert back to traditional testing strips when they become ill. He stated that there was not a lot of outcome data regarding the use of FreeStyle Libra, as there was no central government guidance.
Councillor Ralph expressed his concern that patients might become over-dependent on the new FreeStyle Libra system, and asked what training was given to patients to identify over-dependence. The Pharmacy Lead MSE CCG replied that when a patient was identified as suitable for the programme, they were booked in to a training session to determine whether they were capable of using the device. He described how the system involved using a laptop to input blood glucose level results, so the clinic could constantly monitor whether the service was working for the patient. He mentioned that guidance and advice was given to all patients who had the system throughout the programme. Councillor Ralph then asked what would happen at the end of the six month programme if GPs discontinued the prescription of the system to patients. The Pharmacy Lead MSE CCG responded that this had only happened a handful of times as patients had not seen benefit from the system, and this decision had been made in consultation with the patient and other specialists, before they were reverted back to traditional test strips.
1. That the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted the update.