NHS Fife has approved the use of new diabetes technology that’s set to benefit type 1 patients.

Freestyle Libre is an electronic device that will help monitor glucose levels.

It uses a small sensor placed on the back of the arm to monitor blood glucose levels, and acts as an alternative to regular finger prick blood glucose testing.

The new technology was approved by NHS Fife at its board meeting last Wednesday and could benefit up to 1,000 patients across the Kingdom.

Dr Frances Elliot, medical director, said: “The approval of this glucose monitoring device is great news for diabetes patients, especially those who have to regularly inject insulin throughout the day.

“Blood glucose control is crucial in the management of diabetes and significantly reduces the risk of associated complications such as eye, kidney, nerve and heart disease.

“We have been looking to make Freestyle Libre available to patients in Fife since the publication of advice from the Scottish Technology Group in July.

“Since then it has been making its way through the necessary governance committees, with both ourselves and the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership.

“I am delighted to confirm that it will now be made available to diabetes patients in Fife.”

The move had previously been supported by Alex Rowley MSP, who wrote to the CEO of NHS Fife and the director of Health and Social Care asking when the device would be introduced.

The Mid Scotland and Fife Labour MSP said: “I have been contacted by many constituents telling me of the daily pain they face in finger-pricking to test their blood.

“As this is a daily necessity, some have done tens of thousands of finger pricks in their lifetime.

“This technology is easier to use, less painful and improves people’s self-management which can reduce the risk of serious and costly long-term diabetes-related complications.

“In addition, it’s cost-effective for people with diabetes who are treated with insulin and testing frequently.”