Abbott FreeStyle Libre ® Flash Glucose Monitoring System: March 2019 update

On 7th March 2019 NHS England announced the national arrangements for funding and criteria for the use of Freestyle Libre® Flash Glucose Monitoring. This can be found on the NHS England website following the link below:

NHS BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire CCGs are working closely with local hospital diabetes teams to support the introduction of
FreeStyle Libre from April 1st 2019.


Freestyle Libre® introduction

The FreeStyle Libre ® Flash Glucose Monitor has two parts:

1. A sensor that is attached to the surface of your skin that includes a small needle-like attachment that sits just underneath the skin and measures glucose levels.
2. A wireless monitoring device that you pass over the sensor to display your glucose level. Each time you pass the monitoring device over the sensor, glucose level readings for the last eight hours will be transferred to the device. The Flash Glucose Monitoring device also comes with software so you can analyse your results and see patterns in your glucose levels.

Note that the sensors need to be replaced every 14 days.

The sensor does not measure your blood glucose level. Instead, it measures the amount of glucose in the fluid that surrounds your body cells (called “interstitial fluid”).

Glucose levels in the interstitial fluid can lag-behind glucose levels in your blood by up to 5 minutes. This lag time is longest if your blood glucose level is changing rapidly, e.g. after eating or if you are exercising. For this reason, you need to do a blood glucose check (finger prick) if you’re thinking of changing your treatment (e.g. taking more insulin or treating an episode of low blood sugar).

For more information visit the Diabetes UK website

Freestyle Libre® and Test Strip use for driving

On 14th February 2019 the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) updated their guidelines to make testing requirements simpler for drivers with insulin treated diabetes. This means that drivers may now choose to use finger prick glucose testing and continuous glucose monitoring systems such as FreeStyle Libre® and real-time continuous glucose monitoring for the purposes of driving.

For full self-monitoring requirements, please contact the DVLA directly or visit their website.