Diabetes artificial pancreas tech recommended for thousands on NHS

The Artificial Pancreas

More than 100,000 people in England and Wales with type 1 diabetes could soon be offered new technology to manage their condition on the NHS.

The system uses a glucose sensor under the skin to automatically calculate how much insulin is delivered via a pump.

Health assessors said it was the best way of controlling diabetes, barring a cure.

A charity said it would transform lives and was the “closest thing to a working pancreas”.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the health body recommending the technology, said a more cost-effective price still had to be agreed upon with manufacturers.

In trials, it improved the quality of life and reduced the risk of long-term health complications.

Approximately 400,000 people are currently living with type 1 diabetes in the UK, including around 29,000 children.

Their pancreas produces no, or very little, insulin – an important hormone which helps turn food into energy.

So they have to closely monitor levels of sugar, or glucose, in the blood and top up levels of insulin every day of their lives using injections or an insulin pump.

This new technology does that automatically, virtually mimicking the function of a pancreas – although it still requires information on food intake to work accurately.

“This technology has been proven to give the best control for managing type 1 diabetes and should make things like amputations, blindness, and kidney problems possibly a thing of the past,” said Prof Partha Kar, national speciality adviser for diabetes at NHS England.

“The quality of life this technology gives to those using it is huge,” he added.

Theatrau Ffwrnes, Llanelli

Visiting the Theatrau Ffwrnes as a disabled wheelchair user was an easy and pleasurable experience.

On booking tickets, I was able to secure allocated seating for wheelchair users, alongside my husband’s seat. The Box Office agent was extremely helpful and reminded me that I had a Hynt Card, which allowed me to book a free ticket for my husband, as he is my carer, or companion. This was a great reminder, as I usually forget I have one!

The Ffwrnes Theatre is located in the heart of Llanelli town centre. We parked in the East Gate car park, which is a short distance from the theatre. There are a number of disabled parking spaces for Blue Badge holders, and we had no issues in finding a suitable space. There was plenty of room to lower my wheelchair ramp and access my wheelchair from my vehicle.

Entering the theatre was very easy. It is a new building with wide doors and level access. It feels open and spacious and there was plenty of room for my wheelchair. We were guided to our seats (D20 and 21) and we enjoyed an excellent, close-up view of the stage.

Though we were on ground level, where there were accessible toilets, we also discovered that there are accessible toilets on all levels of the theatre.

We were also informed that an infrared hearing assistance system is in place throughout the theatre building for people with a hearing impairment. The theatre also welcomes Guide Dogs.

The 2022 Pantomime offers BSL signed performances as well as a specially adapted Relaxed Performance of the production for those who may benefit from a relaxed theatre environment. 

We felt that Theatrau Ffwrnes was an excellent place for disabled people to visit, and staff were more than happy to accommodate our needs. We will definitely be returning!