A DIABETIC schoolgirl has been told she will have to wait for a life-changing insulin pump.
Thirteen-year-old Fiona Clark, from Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, has Type 1 diabetes making her dependent on four insulin injections daily.
Her parents, Elaine, 43, and Barrie, 40, say this current manual method is ineffective, makes Fiona feel uncomfortable and results in a lump forming around the area on her leg where she injects.
In February, the Evening Times revealed how the Scottish Government said it will provide at least £1million in funding for NHS boards to provide automatic insulin pumps for all eligible children with Type 1 diabetes.
However, when Elaine asked how long her daughter would have to wait for the pump, she claims staff at Glasgow's Yorkhill Hospital simply "shrugged their shoulders" and said they couldn't give a timescale.
She said: "The NHS is failing my daughter. It's just not good enough. Fiona needs the pump now - not later."
Pumps can hugely improve the quality of life for sufferers by reducing hypoglycemia – low blood sugar –making levels much easier to control.
Elaine, who works part-time as a cleaner, said the lack of an insulin pump affects her daughter "on a daily basis".
"We're always trying to keep Fiona's levels stable but they are swinging all over the place," she said.
"I'm often up with her at night as her insulin level has dropped.
"Having the pump would make such a difference, not just to Fiona, but to the whole family, including her sister Natalie, 10. The diabetes puts a massive strain on us all.
"She's missing so much school because she's unwell and we are already worrying about what will happen when she starts sitting exams."
An insulin pump, which the Clark family hope will help control Fiona's diabetes, costs £1000, with one year's running costs about £4000.
Elaine said: "It is a lot of money for a family. But for the government, it is nothing. If the NHS can't afford a pump, I would like to know where the funding is going instead."
Local MP, Tom Greatrex, hit out at Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon for "not following through on her promises".
The Labour MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, said: "Earlier this year Nicola Sturgeon claimed that any young person who needed an insulin pump would get one. Yet this doesn't appear to be happening, as Fiona's case shows.
"When the health professionals are clear that an insulin pump would help Fiona to better control her blood sugar levels, it is outrageous that she appears to be prevented from getting one because of a lack of funding from the SNP government in Edinburgh."
A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "Any child who our clinical staff judge requires an insulin pump will receive one as quickly as possible.
"Because Scottish Government has funded a major expansion in pumps for children this year there may be some waiting time as our teams gear up to expand the service.
"It is difficult for us to comment further on individual cases but we would be happy to clarify the position directly to the parent concerned if they get in touch with us."
Fiona's family are organising a fundraising night, on September 1, at the local Glencairn Club, to raise cash for the diabetes unit at Yorkhill Hospital.