Diabetic 'denied vital kit by cost'
A diabetic pensioner believes he has become a victim of NHS cuts.
Ron Jenkins said he has been told that there is no funding to replace the broken kit he has at home to test his blood sugar levels.
The 75-year-old has not been able to carry out the test, which helps to judge whether his diabetes is under control, for five days.
Mr Jenkins, who struggles to leave his Wymeswold home, said: "I knew the machine I was using wasn't giving the right results.
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"In the past week, I have had two or three hypos (hypoglycaemic attacks), which are caused when blood sugar levels are too low.
"I then noticed the readings were the same every day, which isn't right. They should fluctuate, even if only slightly."
He called his diabetes specialist nurse at Leicester Royal Infirmary to explain the problem.
Mr Jenkins, a former Charnwood borough councillor, said: "The nurse told me she would organise a replacement machine but then called back to say NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland would not allow it to be dispatched because of the cost.
"I am worried about not being able to test my blood sugar levels.
"It could be very dangerous if the levels go too high or too low, but I have no way of telling if this is beginning to happen."
Mr Jenkins, who was diagnosed with diabetes in 1988, said he had no idea how much the testing kits cost, but he has always been provided with one since his diagnosis.
He said: "This is a blatant case of lack of care in the community because of the cost.
"I have been in touch with the primary care trust (PCT) but the person I spoke to said they would have to speak to someone and would call back.
"No one did call me back. I called again on Monday and was again told someone would call me, but I have heard nothing."
A pharmacist, who asked not to be identified, said: "The machines are relatively cheap.
"It is the testing strips which are more expensive and which the PCT pays for."
Ved Dhiman, chairman of the patient participation group at the Brandon Street GP practice, in Leicester, who also has diabetes, said: "Not having a testing monitor can cause a lot of problems. Your life can depend on it."
A spokesman for the PCT said: "We can confirm we have received a complaint.
"However, as the process to resolve the matter is ongoing we cannot comment on this individual complaint at this time.
"We acknowledge the serious nature of this case.
"The PCT is working closely with the GP practice and the individual to ensure the matter is resolved as quickly as possible and without further delay for the patient.
"We will have more information when it is available."