On Monday morning, following on from my catastrophic pump failure, I rang the Animas UK Office. After a bit of explaining and going back and forth, they agreed to send me a loaner pump despite the failed IR1200 being out of warranty, on the basis that I would be ordering a new replacement pump from them. They arranged to send the loaner 2020 model out by next day delivery. Since it was only a loaner I decided to go wild and try a pink one, rather than the more conservative black or silver I usually go with. Then I spoke with my DSN, who agreed to get the ball rolling with the new order.
Or so I thought. But of course, nothing is that straightforward!
On Tuesday, I waited patiently for the pump to arrive. I’d given them my work address, but when it didn’t turn up I honestly believed it had probably gone to my home address – the usual delivery address they have for me – by mistake. But when I arrived home: No Pump. Unfortunately the office was now closed, so it was on to another night with the unreadable screen and pump limping along delivering basal only.
On Wednesday, I rang again. No one seemed to be able to quite get to the bottom of why no pump had materialised. The only solution was to ship another one overnight. In the meantime, I heard back from the hospital that there might be a problem with ordering the new Vibe pump, based on the fact that it is slightly more expensive than the 2020, and than other comparable models from other manufacturers. I was confused, since this seemed to be a problem for the hospital, yet it’s the PCT who are going to be paying.
To be honest, I think I’m a little caught up in a policy negotiation. It’s no big secret that UK hospitals liaise closely with pump companies and that some hospitals push patients towards some pumps more than others for reasons that they obviously don’t disclose! If I were simply able to get a new Vibe without some sort of dialogue between the hospital and the company, it might set a precedent that they don’t want – or a missed opportunity, so to speak. I don’t agree with patient choice being restricted, but other than that don’t have a problem with a close working relationship between the hospitals and the manufacturers…. Unless it impacts my day to day management, especially whilst I’m pregnant, hormonal and stressed about good control!
It then occurred to me that since my diabetes care is being managed locally, I also have access to the pump support of my local team and my pregnancy DSN. So I dropped her a call. As luck would have it, she actually had a spare Animas 2020 pump sitting in her cupboard at clinic, thanks to someone who’d begun using it and then decided it wasn’t for them. Better still, she could drop it around to me. So that was the immediate pump crisis solved.
Turning my attention back to the ongoing problem of long term replacement, I decided to push my luck and ask if there was anything they could do. After all, I can’t see that it matters which hospital orders the pump for me since either way it’s the same PCT that picks up the tab. She’s looking in to it for me, so we’ll see.
And finally, today the loaner 2020 pump from Animas arrived.
So the pump crisis is averted for now and my blood sugars escaped unscathed. What will happen with the new pump remains to be seen. Watch this space!