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Hybrid Closed Loop Systems To Be Rolled Out This Month In World First Move – The Diabetes Times –

The NHS will start offering hybrid closed loop systems to individuals with type 1 diabetes from today.  

Local NHS systems will start identifying eligible people living with type 1 diabetes who health chiefs believe could benefit from a hybrid closed loop system.

NHS England has provided local health systems with £2.5 million so they are ready to start identifying people that can benefit.

Otherwise known as artificial pancreas technology, hybrid closed loop systems are set to help thousands of people with type 1 diabetes in England manage their condition.

However, it could take up to five years before everyone eligible for a hybrid closed loop system will receive one.

The technology will mean some people with type 1 diabetes will no longer need to inject themselves with insulin but rely on technology to receive this life saving medication.

This can also help prevent life-threatening hypoglycaemic and hyperglycaemia attacks, which can lead to seizures, coma or even death for people living with type 1 diabetes.

The mass rollout of the artificial pancreas builds on a successful pilot of the technology by NHS England, which saw 835 adults and children with type 1 diabetes given devices to improve the management of their condition.

In December 2023, NICE made changes to its diagnostics guidance on integrated sensor-augmented pump therapy systems for managing blood glucose levels in type 1 diabetes.

The landmark guidance outlines details of who will be offered hybrid closed-loop technology in England and Wales.

Gemma Lavery, who has an artificial pancreas, said: “I no longer have to worry about work-related stress affecting my blood-glucose levels, as the closed loop helps to sort this out before it becomes a problem.

“I can have a full night’s sleep without worrying about regular low glucose levels hindering my morning routine and I have found that my diabetes is more stable.”

Professor Partha Kar, NHS National Speciality Advisor for Diabetes, said: “This futuristic technology not only improves medical care but also enhances the quality of life for those affected.”

Since the NICE announcement, NHS England has published a 5-year implementation strategy, which sets out a timeline for how local systems will provide the Hybrid Closed Loop system for eligible patients from 1 April 2024.

NICE recommends hybrid closed loops for those with type 1 who are in certain categories, including children and under-18s, pregnant women, and those with a HbA1c reading – a way of recording long-term blood sugar levels – of 58 mmol/mol, or 7.5 per cent, or higher.

Dr Clare Hambling, NHS England Diabetes Clinical Director, said: “Type 1 diabetes is an easily missed diagnosis, so if you are concerned about symptoms – the four Ts – going to the toilet, passing urine more frequently, with thirst, feeling tired and getting thinner, please come forward for support.”

Colette Marshall, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to see this technology being rolled out. This really is a landmark moment.”

Since 2017/18, NHS England has made around £150 million of transformation funding available to support projects from local health systems to reduce variation in access to services and improve outcomes for people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.