How do I get an Insulin Pump?
Usually, unless in specific circumstances (such as pregnancy) starting insulin pump therapy is not an overnight process. It’s really important to ensure that you (as a potential insulin pumper) are prepared, motivated and can demonstrate the commitment & skills required for safe and successful management of an insulin pump as a treatment for your Type 1 diabetes.
Doing all the research/reading up you can on insulin pumps including what therapy involves and what devices are available and the process of starting a pump will be really helpful when discussing your treatment options with your team. The information provided on this site is intended as a springboard for further reading, investigation and discussion with your team. Our Useful Links Page will include some recommended websites that you can visit to find out more. You can also chat to new, existing and those interested in starting insulin pump therapy via our social media pages
Process of obtaining an insulin pump
Although currently the process may vary at different centres in Wales, starting insulin pump therapy is usually done in stages, so as to ensure your safety is paramount and may include some/all of the following activity:
- Talking to your team to jointly decide if an insulin pump is an appropriate treatment for you based on local/national criteria/guidance and your own and team expectations.
- Assessment of strengths as well as any gaps in knowledge and the formation of a development plan to ensure you have the essential skills to manage insulin pump therapy – this may include assessments from across the team (Consultant, dieticians, specialist nurses and or psychologists)
- Opportunity to discuss which device would be most suitable for you- usually based on preference, models offered and or lifestyle.
- Some centres offer specific pre-pump education or require individuals to attend a structured education course before starting therapy on areas such as insulin dose adjustment/carb counting. You may also be asked to undertake an online “Pump School” for the specifics of your chosen insulin pump model.
- A saline trial* maybe offered to allow you to take a device out of the hospital setting and see how it fits in with your life (*not available in all areas)
Once you and your diabetes team are happy that you are equipped with the required skills and knowledge a “start date” appointment will be arranged with you which will take you through the essential functions, settings and how to use your insulin pump device. Usually following this start appointment you will go home attached to your new device and can start your insulin pump journey.
As an insulin pump user, your learning will continue as you adapt to life on an insulin pump device. Many people who already use an insulin pump describe it as a “journey of discovery”, as new situations and challenges can arise at any time (even for those who have been using an insulin pump for many years) which require further adaptation, education and support.
It’s really important you attend any follow up appointments and any refresher sessions that you are invited to at your clinic so that you ensure you have all the necessary information and tools to help you get the best out of your new therapy.
Insulin Pumps Wales and your healthcare professional team also recommend you undertake our “Refresher Module” at least annually. On completion of the module you will be able to generate a personalised certificate for your records and to share with your team if you wish.
You can also visit our Facebook group if you have any questions about starting on an insulin pump from our friendly community of insulin pump users.