Poorly girl’s fight for £6.50-a-day monitor

Funding fight: Angela Allison with Claudia Tate, nine
Funding fight: Angela Allison with Claudia Tate, nine
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The family of a young girl battling diabetes are fighting to get funding for a life-improving monitor after health chiefs refused to pay for it.

Claudia Tate, nine, of Hutton, near Preston, has diabetes and her parents want a continuous glucose monitor to help control her condition and prevent her having frightening experiences when her blood glucose level falls too low.

However, NHS Central Lancashire, the primary care trust for the area, turned Claudia down for the equipment which would cost £6.50 a day.

But Claudia’s family say the youngster has been suffering from a lot of attacks of hypoglycaemia - also known as “hypos” - which is when the level of glucose in the blood falls too low.

If left untreated the person having an hypo might, eventually, become unconscious. They are now appealing against the PCT’s decision.

Claudia’s mum Angela Allison, who is married to Donald and has four other children, said: “Claudia is having a lot of hypos at the moment during the day and night and it is frightening for her and terrifying for us as parents.

“We have not slept properly for the last two years as Claudia has either been having hypos or we have been worried about her and checking on her.

“If her glucose level is too low, we have to wake her up and give her glucose tablets or something to eat.

“Claudia has an insulin pump and what we want is a glucose monitor which will set off an alarm if Claudia’s glucose level drops too low.

“Since the beginning of this year, Claudia has been having around three or four hypos a day and she is constantly having to test her blood sugar levels by pricking her fingers and using strips.

“The ironic thing is that the PCT have turned Claudia down for the glucose monitor which would cost £6.50 a day, but we have worked out that it is probably costing about this for her to test herself because of the large number of hypos she is having.

“We want the best for our daughter and this glucose monitor will make our day-to-day life a lot easier and improve Claudia’s quality of life and give her more independence.

“The staff at Royal Preston Hospital have been brilliant and staff at Claudia’s school have been so supportive in helping manage her condition.”

Claudia became ill two years ago and lost weight, was very tired and started drinking a lot of water. Doctors at Royal Preston Hospital discovered she has type 1 diabetes, which is when the body is unable to produce insulin.

Claudia, who also has asthma and coeliac disease, which is an intolerance to gluten, cycled along a 10km stretch of the Dorset coast over the weekend to boost funds for Diabetes UK and to raise awareness of her condition.

The youngster, who is a pupil at Little Hoole Primary School, took part in the venture to raise £1,000 for the charity, as well as some money towards the cost of the glucose monitor.

Dr Steve Ward, NHS Central Lancashire’s medical director, said: “All decisions on individual patient funding are fully and carefully considered on individual clinical need and circumstance.

“Funding decisions are made based on the evidence about clinical effectiveness by an expert review panel, which includes a number of clinicians.

“As an appeal has been lodged against the decision we are unable to comment further at this point.”

There are more than 19,000 people diagnosed with diabetes in the Central Lancashire PCT area.