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[IPk] Kent Messenger

Last September one of our members, Sharon Cordrey wrote to her local paper
the Kent Messenger, telling them that she was a diabetic on an insulin pump
and the difference it had made to her life. She enclosed her telephone
number and invited any diabetics who were interested, to telephone her for
more information. She was inundated!! One of those replies was from Wayne
Sexton who is now member of this list.

To cope the overwhelming response, in November we arranged an
 "Open Day" in Maidstone, Kent and invited everone to come along
 and meet both Disetronic and MiniMed and to see samples of their products.

The day was organised so that interested diabetics and their families could
come and see the pumps and have an opportunity to talk to pump users about
their experiences of "life on the pump".

The day was a great success,  we had over 300 people through the door,
diabetics and their families, we also had several DSN's, a GP, two trustees
from a hospital charitable trust and representatives from two hospitals.

However, the downside is that because of the tremendous interest generated
in the pump and it's benefits, the Health Authority appears to have taken

For the record:

Sharon Cordrey purchased her pump herself over a year ago, and has the
supplies paid for by the West Kent Health Authority.

Wayne Sexton is having his pump fully funded by the WKHA.

You will all have seen Wayne's postings about how he obtained funding for
his pump. His Doctor has now written to the Kent Messenger with a warning!

Kent Messenger.
395 High Street
Tel: 01634 830999
News Editor: Sarah White

It would be nice if some of us could reply to Dr Barne's comments.


John Davis
INsulin PUmp Therapy


"Doctor issues pumps warning to diabetics
A SENIOR doctor has warned diabetes sufferers that insulin infusion pumps
are not a magic solution to all their woes.

Dr Dennis Barnes a consultant diabetes specialist at Pembury and the Kent
and Sussex hospitals warned that there was still no evidence to support the
widespread use of the pumps.

 Just before Christmas Dr Barnes agreed that diabetes sufferer Wayne Sexton
from Benenden could become only the second person in Kent to receive a pump
on the NHS, but he said the rare use of pumps was more than just a question
of cost.

Dr Barnes said "There is absolutely no long term data to suggest that these
pumps are more effective at preventing the possible complications of
Diabetes, such as eye disease and kidney failure, than conventional insulin
injections". He also warned that patients could not simply plug in a pump
forget about their condition. He said  "In fact, the opposite is true
patients have to be highly motivated, checking their blood sugar levels at
least four tames a day and able to make appropriate alterations to their
insulin regimes and know what to do if the pump malfunctions"

He also said that some patients found the pumps intrusive and uncomfortable
and for them there would be no benefit in transferring to a pump.

Patients using a pump required back up from a skilled medical and nursing
diabetic team 24 a day Such support was currently not available at any
hospital an West Kent. He said "Our patients would have to consider the
additional inconvenience of travelling to and from London on a regular basis
to have therapy

However, Dr Barnes agreed that the high cost of the pumps was a factor The
pumps cost about £2000 to buy and £800 a year to maintain and he added: The
NHS has an obligation not to squander limited resources on unproven
expensive treatments.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence is currently reviewing the
pros and cons of insulin pump therapy over conventional insulin treatment


PS. The NICE report is not due to be published until Spring 2001


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