There is a history of rationing new advances in medical care differently in different post codes and regions. Some things are too important for this type of random care. If it was open and honest, and announced in advance, for some cheap services rationing is appropriate: but of course it is not allowed to be talked about. The perverse incentive for commissioners to get away with what they can is too great..
Faith Eckersall reports in the Daily (Dorchester) Echo 12th October: Diabetics to confront councillors over postcode lottery – DORSET diabetics – including some children- will be part of a delegation at the county council on Wednesday to campaign for new testing technology free on the NHS.
Currently people with Type 1 diabetes must use the painful and inconvenient pin-prick method to check their blood sugar levels but Flash, which must be paid for in Dorset, works on a pain-free patch and scanning device.
The protestors are angry that despite the government’s NICE drugs and medicine rationing committee approving the use of Flash Glucose Monitoring on the NHS, Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group has not made it freely available, as has happened in adjoining health areas.
The CCG is running a six-month pilot of the Freestyle Libre blood glucose monitoring device for 200 people in three specific groups of diabetic patients in the county. But protestors point out there are 5,000 diabetics in Dorset who could potentially benefit and say no further testing or pilot is needed.
Diabetes UK south west regional head, Phaedra Perry, said: “The Dorset Clinical Commissioning group should make Flash available immediately to all people with diabetes in the area who can benefit, and not to just a very limited group of 200 patients for six months.
“Commissioners here are out of step with neighbouring CCGs which have agreed to prescribe it. Dorset is one of very few areas in the south west where Flash is not available and is effectively imposing a postcode lottery on diabetes technology.”