Abbott Diabetes Care to donate FreeStyle Libre 1 sensors to NHS Trusts

Dr Pratik Choudhary
Date of the announcement: 
Tuesday, 26 January, 2021

With over 30,000 people admitted to hospital with Covid-19, and up to a third of them with diabetes, we know you are working flat out. With the use of steroids in many patients, the need for glucose monitoring to support care in hospital and support safe discharge is even greater than it was in the first wave. We are really pleased to announce that in response to another request from ABCD-DTN, Abbott’s Diabetes Care division have very kindly agreed to donate 10,000 further FreeStyle Libre 1 sensors to NHS Trusts to support us in this.

There are two main purposes of this donation

  1. The first is to facilitate safe and rapid discharge of insulin treated patients from hospital, allowing remote monitoring of glucose values post discharge in a scenario where we have seen need for rapid changes in insulin doses. Examples are:
    • New diagnosis of type 1 diabetes
    • Unstable glucose due to Covid-19 and/or use of steroids.
    • New start of insulin after COVID-19 /Non COVID-19 related medical condition ( type 1 or type 2 diabetes)
    • Discharge of patients admitted with unstable diabetes control ( due to hyper- or hypoglycaemia ( type 1 or type 2 diabetes)
  2. There may be some patients who need close monitoring of glucose while in hospital (e.g. after steroid use or when they are on VRII).

The use of 2 sensors per patient will allow these patients to be followed up in a “touch-free” manner, minimising contact between health care teams and patients and allowing the team to adjust insulin doses if required. The donation from Abbott is for sensors only, not readers so the patient must have a compatible IOS or Android mobile phone to work with FreeStyle LibreLink.

Please complete the excel form for each patient indicating how the donation has been used. We are aware of the demands of data collection at this time, so have kept this form as short as possible. It is important to feedback the degree of uptake from the donation and how sensors were used. ABCD-DTN may make contact with you for any other relevant information at a later date so please store the form locally until then.  

A number of clinicians have approached us with ideas for audit / research around this project, and we urge you to get in touch with ABCD / DTN through We shall try to connect those who are interested as a working group.

ABCD-DTN suggested process:

  • Identify appropriate patient
  • Fill in the excel form with details of indication and hospital number, to allow future audit.
  • The patient would have a sensor applied by a diabetes HCP, in the hospital, and be set up with FreeStyle LibreLink and LibreView prior to discharge. 
  •  You may want to provide appropriate training on SMBG also at this time, if the patient is unlikely to meet local guidelines for on-going funding of FreeStyle Libre (alternatively this can be done at follow up with primary care, community or secondary care teams) 
  • The patient should be discharged with an additional sensor.
  • The patient should be provided with a quick reference guide: ‘Your Guide to the FreeStyle Libre System’
  • If appropriate (eg Type 1 diabetes) provide a link to the DTN Flash glucose education page.
  • An early follow up call should be scheduled with the patient post discharge
  • At the end of the 4-week period (2 sensors) a decision to continue  / discontinue local prescription of Libre sensors will depend on local guidelines. Patients who do not meet local guidelines for ongoing prescription of FreeStyle Libre will need to be transitioned to SMBG where appropriate.

Ordering Process:

  • The sensors will be available in increments of 48 or 96, so would cover 24 or 48 patients for one month’s use
  • This will be on a first come- first served basis, a second request for further stock is permitted, subject to equity and availability.
  • The Trust needs to make an individual charitable request to Abbott, using the recommended template provided by ABCD DTN which can be downloaded now.
  • E-mail Abbott directly on:, send signed charitable request form including a diabetes team contact name and delivery point/ department to process the order which will be shipped on a next day delivery service
  • You will be required to confirm delivery receipt with Abbott on

Set-up process

The Trust will need to be set up with a LibreView account if one is not already in place.

By providing the contact name oon ordering, Abbott assumes permission for your local Abbott representative to contact you directly to provide any necessary educational or set-up support, the contact details will only be used for this purpose.

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