| 9.4°C Belfast

It'll be four years before I get insulin pump I desperately need, says Lurgan woman with Type 1 Diabetes

Case study


Natalie McNally (29) from Lurgan with her mother Bernadette

Natalie McNally (29) from Lurgan with her mother Bernadette

Natalie McNally (29) from Lurgan with her mother Bernadette

Natalie McNally (29), from Lurgan, has Type 1 Diabetes and has just signed up to get an insulin pump, something she says would massively improve her quality of life - but has been told she must wait four years.

"By pure coincidence I was speaking to my insulin specialist this morning. She told me an insulin pump would really control my sugars, but unfortunately the waiting list is four years," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"It's really saddening to know that if I walked into a clinic in England I could get this device next week and really improve my life, it's a really baffling situation.

"I'm very grateful for the treatment I do get but it almost feels like it's a real waste. I don't know the ins and outs of NHS funding in Northern Ireland, but I do think they're doing their best with limited means and need further investment."

She continued: "In my situation, if more money was there they would have more room for the specialist clinics.

"But it's just not there for them, they're left waiting years for a glimmer of funding. So the health service are doing a great job with what they have but they just don't have enough.

"If I had an insulin pump my health would be so much better. At the minute because my insulin levels are bad I have poor sleep, I have constant thirst and drop weight incredibly," Natalie added.

"The long term effects can be your vision, your feet and nerve feelings as well as affecting your life expectancy and it's out of your control.

"To think that there's a treatment out there that would improve all those symptoms and I can't get a hold of it - it's really disappointing.

"It really does get you down knowing the treatment is out there. If you dwell on it for too long you start to get angry."

Addressing the Health Minister Robin Swann, she said: "I understand that he's in an incredibly difficult position and has had to deal with coronavirus which has probably overtaken all his plans.

"But I would say there is an urgent need for health service funding. I understand his predicament, but it's been like that for a long time and coronavirus has just made it a hundred times worse."

Belfast Telegraph