Health Minister, Paul Burstow MP attended a recent meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes (APPG for Diabetes) to discuss the way forward for diabetes services.
Diabetes UK provides the secretariat of the group (jointly with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), which is chaired by Adrian Sanders MP. The APPG for Diabetes exists to raise the profile of diabetes in parliament; to address the prevention of diabetes; to monitor new initiatives and to work to ensure a better deal for people with diabetes.
The Health Minister presented an overview of current diabetes services and future priorities for the coalition Government. He also outlined the recent health White Paper, described a shift of power to patients and carers and addressed concerns from some MPs over more commissioning from GPs.
Importance of raising awareness
Vice-chair of the APPG for Diabetes, Keith Vaz MP, who tabled an Early Day Motion calling on the Government to support organisations such as Diabetes UK in the light of statistics for a million people undiagnosed with diabetes, highlighted the importance of raising awareness among the general public. The Minister agreed with the need to reach people about the importance of prevention.
Clear commitments needed to help people with diabetes
“We are very pleased that Paul Burstow attended this meeting, for the first time as Health Minister" said Diabetes UK Public Affairs Manager, Helen Pyper. "Approximately 10 per cent of NHS spending goes on diabetes, which equates to £1 million an hour or £9 billion per year, so the diabetes epidemic is a clear example of where the new coalition Government needs to take strong action."
"The 2.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes want to see the Government addressing treatment issues and the prevention of Type 2 diabetes. It is a positive step that the Health Minister is open to discussion and debate, and we look forward to seeing clear commitments that will help people with diabetes.”