Positive performance for NEEDS insulin pump service

Research from NEEDS into the performance of its specialist insulin pump service has found that the use and effectiveness of pump treatment for people with type 1 diabetes in North East Essex is higher than in many other areas of the UK, when compared to data from the National Diabetes Insulin Pump Audit (2014/2015).

Insulin pump therapy has a pivotal role to play in the management of Type 1 diabetes and can be associated with better diabetes control and reductions in hypoglycaemia and admissions for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

There were 115 people with type 1 diabetes using the insulin pump service with NEEDS in 2014-2015. Research has shown that 86% had decreased their HbA1c level since starting insulin pump therapy, compared with the UK average of just 64.8%.

Another positive finding is that 9.8% of the insulin pump users in the NEEDS service had an HbA1c level of 48 mmol/mol or less, the target range recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). This is compared with the UK average of 6.5%.

Sheila Smyth, Diabetes Nurse Consultant for NEEDS, said: “We’re delighted with the success of the NEEDS pump service. Insulin pump therapy can be a great way of improving control and quality of life for those people with type 1 diabetes who have not managed to achieve this with standard injectable insulin therapy.

“We are working hard to ensure that the appropriate patients have access to the specialist pump service and achieve their treatment goals. This will help to reduce the risk of long-term complications such as kidney disease and nerve damage.”

The NEEDS pump team aims to provide a varied approach to supporting patients, which includes 1:1 clinic appointments, group interactive workshops, text and email support and a regular newsletter with updates and handy tips.

Top line findings

  • 115 patients with type 1 diabetes in the NEEDS service are pump users


  • 9.8% of patients have an HbA1c level of 48 mmol/mol or less (98% have an HbA1c level of 86 mmol/mol or less)
  • 86% of pump users showed a decrease in HbA1c after starting pump therapy, compared with a UK average of 64.8%

For further information and advice from NEEDS please call 0345 241 3313 or email info@diabetesneeds.org.uk