Making a case for choice

If you haven’t had a pump before, getting your first one can be a bit confusing, like choosing your first mobile phone. When you need your next pump, you may have stronger preferences based on the pump features you use most often or would like to have.

Please read Pump choice & user reviews before reading on.

If you want to challenge the lack of choice available from your clinic, first determine the reason for their insistence on the make of pump the offer. If staff simply haven’t been trained on the make you prefer but they are willing to be trained, you may have to wait a while for them to coordinate training with the pump company. Can you wait for this? Or is your need for a pump more urgent? If you hope to be on a pump in less than (say) 4 months from the point of your consultant’s recommendation, you may be better off asking your GP to refer you for a second opinion at a pump clinic that already offers the pump you prefer (the pump companies can tell you where their pumps are used).

If the reason for the lack of choice is a contract at the hospital level (‘acute care trust’), it can take several months – even over a year – for a contract situation to change and it is probably most expedient to change hospitals. If you want to change hospitals, INPUT’s list of proactive pump clinics is a good place to start. You can simply ask your GP to refer you to the clinic you wish to attend, regardless of the distance from your home. If you need support on requesting the referral, or your GP refuses to refer you to the clinic you wish to attend, contact INPUT for further advice.

However, if the reason for lack of availability of the pump you prefer is a restriction by your CCG, it won’t help to change your clinic. In this case, your diabetes team would need to make a special application for funding, typically called an Individual Funding Request, explaining why your needs are particularly different from most people who meet the NICE clinical criteria for a pump.

If your diabetes care team is prepared to submit an application for exceptional funding, aka an Individual Funding Request, for you to have a specific pump, it’s important that both you and your team read up on the recent (January 2016) changes to the process before initiating the application and submitting it to the central email address.