Post Code Lottery ? One From North Staffordshire ... Just One Of Far Too Many?


Diabetic Josie, 12, locked in this NHS postcode lottery battle ( As mum shells out £100-a-month for vital medical equipment ).


**_The family of a 12-year-old girl look set to have won their fight against an NHS ‘postcode lottery’ - after shelling out £100-a-month on vital medical equipment.

They have been forking out the cash to allow diabetic Josie Maynard to test her blood sugar levels using a Freestyle Libre monitoring system.

It has replaced the finger-prick test which has damaged the schoolgirl’s nerve endings in her finger after she has repeated the process up to eight times a day since the age of four.

[u]North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has refused to pay for the Freestyle Libre system - despite it being free in neighbouring Cheshire.

But the equipment is now set to be made available on the NHS from April.[/u]

The monitoring system is fitted to a patient’s arm and can be scanned using a mobile phone. It then gives an instant reading of the patient’s blood sugar levels.

Mum Ruth Breeze, of Leek, said: “When we went to Josie’s consultant at Macclesfield Hospital we asked about the sensor and were told to go to our doctor to get a prescription for one. However when we asked the doctor he said he could not give us a prescription as we live in Leek.

“If we lived just up the road in Cheshire then we could get one on the NHS. So to make Josie’s life better I’ve had to pay for one. This has enabled her to stop all the finger pricks and gave her a better quality of life. I can also check her blood sugar on my phone.

"Everyone should be prescribed a sensor because some people may not be able to afford one. We all pay into the NHS so it is totally unfair that some areas can get treatment when others cannot just because of where they live. It is only fair that people are treated the same for all their healthcare.> "

The sensor means the Churnet View Middle School pupil now has more freedom.

She said: “I am now more confident and can go out with my friends. It has given me more freedom. I can just scan the sensor anytime.

“I have lost the feeling in one finger because of the finger-prick test as I have been doing it since I was four. I can now check myself at break and lunchtimes. I know when I need food. It has made me feel much safer.”

The family has been supported by Staffordshire Moorlands district councillor Bill Cawley.

He said: “The CCG was in breach of NHS guidelines and service specifications.”

NHS England is looking at providing the Freestyle Libre system on the NHS from April to patients who qualify for the equipment.

A CCG spokesman said: "We are awaiting further guidance from NHS England on its clinical guidelines and how this will be funded. Once we have this information we can begin to look at how glucose monitoring will be commissioned.

“In the meantime, CCGs will continue to commission continuous blood glucose monitoring in line with local policy.”_**