More than 3,000 people across London with Type 1 diabetes have received life-changing diabetes monitors through the NHS Long Term Plan – including St George’s patient Katie Young (pictured).

The innovative device, which is the size of a £2 coin and worn on the arm, means people with Type 1 diabetes do not have to carry out multiple painful finger-prick checks to monitor their blood sugar levels.

Instead, people with the condition can monitor their blood sugar levels in a much more convenient way.

People with Type 1 diabetes who have low blood sugar levels are at risk of hypoglycaemia, which can involve seizures and a loss of consciousness.

Those with high blood sugar levels can be at risk of serious long term health conditions, such as blindness and heart problems if left untreated.

Ahead of schedule in delivering the NHS Long Term Plan commitment of a minimum of 50,000 people with the illness, over half of people eligible across the country are already in possession of the device within the first three months.

This follows changes made in April which meant people eligible across England are able to get them on prescription, regardless of where they live.

New data revealed today shows the early success of the scheme funded by the NHS Long Term Plan with 3,382 patients in London already in receipt of monitors within the first three months.

The NHS is writing to leaders to ensure this rapid uptake continues to ensure people across the country reap the benefits of the life changing technology.

There are over 29,500 people in London with Type 1 diabetes. Since the rapid roll out of the technology since April 2019, three thousand Londoners have already benefitted from, in line with clinical guidelines, the roll out of diabetes monitors through the NHS Long Term Plan.

Dr Vin Diwakar, Medical Director for the NHS in London said: “People living with diabetes can find it easier to manage their condition effectively without having to carry out frequent, inconvenient and painful finger prick tests throughout the day. Technology continues to adapt to meet our needs and with the right clinical evidence, we are determined to ensure that we make it available to people who need it the most.”

Katie Young, 40 from Wimbledon, accesses her glucose monitor through the specialist diabetes service at St George’s. Talking about how it has changed her life, Katie said: “As a freelance press photographer and a busy mum of two young girls, I never wanted my condition to get in the way of my two favourite jobs. Before I was offered the opportunity to use the new device, I always felt that the multiple finger prick checks I needed to make each day were a continuous reminder of my condition interfering with my everyday life. The monitor has been instrumental in giving me the freedom to do what I love without interruption.”

People who qualify for the monitor include:

  • People with type 1 diabetes who need intensive monitoring (more than 8 times every day) as demonstrated in a review over the past 3 months.
  • People with diabetes associated with Cystic Fibrosis on insulin.
  • Pregnant women with Type 1 Diabetes for 12 months in total.
  • People with Type 1 diabetes unable to routinely self-monitor blood glucose due to disability.
  • People with Type 1 diabetes for whom the specialist diabetes MDT determines have occupational or psychosocial circumstances that warrant a 6-month trial of Libre with appropriate support.

Notes to editors

For media enquiries, please contact Pippa Harper, Media Manager via 020 8266 6128 or

More information about the NHS Long Term Plan

The NHS Long Term Plan also commits to rolling out continuous glucose monitors from April 2020 for every pregnant woman with Type 1 diabetes, in its latest step to harness the power of digital technology.

The NHS Long Term Plan also sets out world leading action to help people with Type 2 diabetes, including doubling capacity of the Diabetes Prevention Programme so 200,000 people a year across the country can benefit along with trialling new very low calorie diets.

For further information, please contact the NHS England and NHS Improvement London press office at or 011 3824 7323