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Diabetes supplies provided free of charge

08 October 2019

health care worker

From next month, people with diabetes who need blood testing supplies will be able to collect them, free of charge, from their chosen community pharmacy.

The new service will be rolled out from 20 November and will replace the current scheme, which is heavily subsidised by the government and requires people with diabetes to pay towards their supplies and collect them from Overdale Hospital.

At patients’ next routine check-up, their GP or the Diabetes Service at Overdale will explain the new service and ask them to nominate their preferred pharmacy. This will allow patients to collect their medication and ancillary supplies at the same time.

Under the new contract, approved by the Social Security Minister and funded by the Health Insurance Fund (HIF), pharmacies will also provide advice and an annual one-to-one review to help patients to better understand the condition and manage their medicines and glucose monitoring.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Naomi Mews, the president of the local branch of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: “Pharmacists welcome this new service because we believe local pharmacies can offer convenient access to essential health supplies and, just as important, is the personalised advice and support we can offer around medicine use.

“Pharmacy has an important role to play in our health system. The expertise and clinical knowledge of pharmacists can be utilised to support people with long term conditions and help them improve their health outcomes.”

The move is supported by the Minister for Social Security, Deputy Judy Martin, and the Minister for Health and Community Services, Deputy Richard Renouf. The new concept is also welcomed by the dedicated local charity Diabetes Jersey, who support islanders who have diabetes.

Diabetes Service

As part of this new service, the Diabetes Service at Overdale will also identify people eligible for support with Flash Glucose Monitoring Sensors. The guidelines for eligibility will be broadly similar to those applied in the United Kingdom and this service will also be implemented gradually from 20 November 2019.

Deputy Martin said: “Diabetes is a wide spread, long-term condition, which, if not managed properly, can lead to serious problems. Under this contract we have an opportunity to help people access the supplies and advice they need to improve their management of glucose levels, which is important in avoiding complications.

“For a long time we have had an odd situation in Jersey where medicine for diabetes is fully funded by the Health Insurance Fund (HIF) and available from pharmacy but supplies, like syringes, are only available from Overdale and at a cost to the patient. I’m pleased that we can fund these supplies in full from the HIF, making it easier for people to collect what they need from their local pharmacy.”

Deputy Renouf said: “I hope this will be a welcome change for people with diabetes in Jersey. I’d like to thank the Social Security Minister and all involved in bringing this important project to fruition and the team at the Diabetes Centre who work so hard to support islanders with diabetes.

“Not only will it allow more convenience to patients, which is what we want to offer in healthcare, but it means that the Diabetes Centre team will have more time to see the patients who really need their help.

“As a government, in our Common Strategic Policy, we committed to working differently with primary care to support islanders’ health and wellbeing and this new service is a significant step in joining primary care practitioners together to offer a better service for Islanders.”

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