New UK guidance on insulin pumps gives school kids with diabetes
freedom from injections
6 September 2008
New UK guidance on the use of insulin pump therapy from the National
Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) looks set to
revolutionise the way children manage their diabetes .
It will grant some 20,000 UK children with Type 1 diabetes
starting the new school year more freedom and control for their
The new recommendations finally acknowledge key research
supported by Roche, that shows the positive impact of pumps on quality
of life for sufferers and their families.
Roche has been working closely with diabetes healthcare specialists
to raise awareness of pump therapy and encourage and support new users.
Roche welcomes the new guidelines that recommend greater access to
insulin pump therapy to manage Type 1 diabetes, particularly amongst
children and young people, with pumps replacing traditional insulin
injections which have been shown to interrupt the school day.
Dr Katharine Barnard PhD, School of Psychology at the University of
Southampton, one of the UK's leading authorities into quality of life
issues surrounding insulin pumps in Type 1 diabetes, who has worked with
Roche says: "There are significant psychosocial benefits associated with
insulin pump therapy, particularly improved quality of life. The new
NICE guidelines should facilitate greater access to this therapy, which
will only be good news for patients and their families. For children it
should have a positive impact on both their school and home life."
Benefits of replacing injections with insulin pump therapy include
fewer hypoglycaemic episodes, the opportunity to participate in sports
without having to plan ahead and the choice to eat a wider variety of
food as the pump can be easily adjusted to supply the right amount of
insulin each moment of the day.
Britain is lagging behind other major countries in terms of diabetes
management with less than 1% of Type 1 cases using an insulin pump in
the UK, compared to many other countries such as US and Germany where
15-20% use a pump.
With a five-fold increase in the number of under fives diagnosed over
the past 20 years, and one child in 1,000 affected, access to insulin
pump therapy is essential for children to have the opportunity to live
as close to a normal a life as possible and feel less 'controlled' by
their diabetes as Dr Barnard's adolescent study amongst pump users
Dr Barnard continued: "The new guidance should hopefully open up
access to children and their families and pumps are then provided
according to need, choice and suitability."
Insulin pumps are not suitable for everyone and they need thorough
explanation and training.
1. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance.
Diabetes — insulin pump therapy. Continuous subcutaneous insulin
infusion for the treatment of diabetes.
2. Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
3. Barnard KD, Speight J & Skinner TC. Impact of insulin pump therapy
on quality of life of children/adolescents with Type 1 diabetes and
their parents: an overview study. Practical Diabetes International,
4. Diabetes UK. Insulin Pump Services — Report of the Insulin
Pumps Working Group. March 2007.
5. University of Bristol, March 2007 (PJ Bingley, Department of