Local MP asks Brummies to sign petition calling for end to postcode lottery for diabetics

Steve McCabe MP is calling on Birmingham residents to sign his petition, calling for an end to the postcode lottery which means people with diabetes living in Dudley have access to revolutionary and potentially life-changing blood glucose monitoring technology while people in Birmingham do not.

Flash Glucose Monitoring allows people living with diabetes to continuously monitor their blood glucose levels. Flash Glucose Monitoring gives people access to better and more accurate information surrounding trends in their blood glucose levels, including at times when they might otherwise not be checking; during the night, for example. The technology has been described as ‘life-changing’ and a number of constituents who contacted Steve about this issue have described how the technology has transformed their diabetes management, reducing the risk of long-term diabetes related complications. The technology is particularly helpful for young children who are living with the condition and parents living in Steve’s constituency have described how it has helped them to better track their children’s health.


One constituent pointed out that even Prime Minister, Theresa May, is using Flash Glucose Monitoring and they feel it is unfair that she has access to it while others who could benefit from it do not. Steve’s constituents have highlighted that if they do want to access this technology they either have to move, or be able to pay £50 every two weeks – a sum of money that means for the vast majority of people it is simply not an option. 


The petition, which has been launched by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes, calls for CCGs across the country to make this potentially life-changing technology available for everyone who could benefit from it, regardless of their address. Steve wrote to Birmingham and Solihull NHS Clinical Commissioning Group to urge them to make Flash Glucose Monitoring available for prescription but was advised that the CCG felt it was not “affordable”. After writing to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, however, he was advised that it is down to CCGs to make these decision and that the Government would not intervene.


Steve said:


“The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Prime Minister have both said that they would like our country to take a lead on the use of technology in health care. However, they are not willing to take action to ensure that the 3.2 million people living with diabetes in the UK have access to the ground-breaking and life-changing Flash Glucose Monitoring system. The fact that our local CCG here in Birmingham says they cannot afford to make the system available on prescription demonstrates that while the Government says they want us to lead the way on technology in health care, they are simply not willing to put their money where their mouth is.


“This is why I am asking local residents to add their name to this petition and highlight to the Government and CCGs across the country that it is simply unfair and unacceptable that a person’s address or financial means dictates their ability to access this life-changing technology.”


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Steve McCabe

Steve McCabe is the Labour MP for Birmingham, Selly Oak, and has been an MP continuously since 1 May 1997.

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