Western Isles patient learns a new way to manage diabetes

Pictured is Dr Kenneth Robertson, Fiona Lamb, Susan Macdonald (Alasdair's mum), Alasdair Macdonald, Margretta Macleod and Mairead Macdonald.
Pictured is Dr Kenneth Robertson, Fiona Lamb, Susan Macdonald (Alasdair's mum), Alasdair Macdonald, Margretta Macleod and Mairead Macdonald.

NHS Western Isles is delighted to confirm that a local patient recently became the first person in the Western Isles to start on Insulin Pump Therapy.

This treatment has been delivered through close partnership working between the NHS Western Isles Diabetes Team and the Diabetes Team at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Alasdair Macdonald from Eriskay, who has Type 1 Diabetes, was 17 when he became the first patient to commence this form of treatment in the Western Isles. Alasdair was identified as suitable for this form of treatment and was offered it due to his diabetes management and healthy lifestyle.

In August, this form of treatment will be rolled out to selected other young people in Lewis, affirming the local Health Board’s commitment to providing a range of treatment options and a quality diabetes service for patients in the Western Isles.

While insulin pump therapy is not the only treatment option for insulin delivery available, it is an option that is the preferred choice for certain people with diabetes. It can offer carefully selected people some benefits over Multiple Daily Injections, helping to balance their diabetes management and quality of life.

Insulin pump therapy has, in particular, been recognised for its potential benefits as a treatment option among children and young people. Factors such as increased sensitivity to insulin, smaller size, lifestyle and the need for smaller doses of insulin make insulin pump therapy a useful treatment option for some children and young people. Owing to hormonal and psychosocial changes, adolescence too is a period where young people may experience difficulties with blood glucose control and where insulin pump therapy can be of benefit.

This treatment is available to patients who meet the eligibility criteria, to enable them to optimise the management of their diabetes.

The Western Isles team - including Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Kenneth Robertson (Yorkhill); Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Fiona Lamb (Yorkhill); NHS Western Isles Specialist Dietitian (Diabetes) Margretta Macleod; and NHS Western Isles Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Mairead Macdonald - provided education and support to Alasdair Macdonald as he learnt the new way to manage his diabetes.

NHS Western Isles Medical Director, Dr James Ward, said: “Providing local access to care safely and effectively is one of our key aims. This partnership between local patients, families and clinicians with NHS GGC is a great example of what can be achieved and will be rolled out to more children in the near future. We are also working hard with our NHS GGC colleagues to extend this treatment option to adults with diabetes who meet the necessary criteria and wish to take this forward.”