THOUSANDS of diabetes patients in Scotland are still missing out on a "life-changing" glucose monitor more than six months after it was approved for use on the NHS.

The Freestyle Libre 'Flash GM' device is routinely available on prescription to patients with Type 1 diabetes in Wales and Northern Ireland but to date only six out of 14 health board regions in Scotland have made the technology available.

In England, it is prescribed by around half of health authorities.

Charity Diabetes Scotland is calling on the health boards where the monitoring device remains under review to end the postcode lottery. At present, it is only available to patients in NHS Forth Valley, Lothian, Ayrshire & Arran, Dumfries & Galloway, Borders and Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

The monitor, which is no bigger than a £2 coin, is worn on the upper arm much like a nicotine-replacement patch. It continuously monitors blood glucose levels, reducing the need for finger-prick blood tests, and regular readings can be obtained using a device which scans through clothing.

These checks must be carried out several times a day by people with Type 1 diabetes to ensure their blood sugar is not veering dangerously high or low.

Prime Minister Theresa May is known to use the technology, which was approved for use on the NHS in November last year.

Angela Mitchell, National Director of Diabetes Scotland, said there was frustration among patients that it was not yet universally available. She added that some patients had opted to purchase the kits instead. It costs around £160 per month.

Ms Mitchell said: “The option to pay for this technology which can support people to better manage their diabetes is not open to everyone, nor should it be required. Our NHS was founded on the principle of creating a fair and equal health service for all, regardless of income. We should not be in a position where some people are less able to manage their diabetes because they can’t afford the device which may help them."

The Scottish Government has pledged £10 million during the current parliament to increase NHS Scotland provision of insulin pumps and glucose monitoring devices for those with the greatest clinical need.

The Scottish Health Technologies Group, due to meet on June 25, is also expected to issue additional guidance on the prescription of the Freestyle Libre device.