Adrian Sanders, Member of Parliament for Torbay, and Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes, today called for a new diabetes strategy to improve care and treatment for people with diabetes in the UK.
In a recently published report, the National Diabetes Audit revealed that 24,000 diabetes-related deaths could have been avoided last year, a situation which could have been improved with better management of the condition.
Problems with management are particularly prevalent amongst people aged 15–34, who can experience difficulty with the transition between paediatric and adult healthcare services, and with laying down adequate management routines.
Strategy must be agreed
If deaths like these are to be avoided in the future, the Government must work together with stakeholders to agree a strategy that will show how we are going to address diabetes after the current National Service Framework (NSF) for diabetes draws to a close. This should be clear about the scale of the challenge and the strategies needed to ensure delivery of NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) quality standards and high-quality care and support for all people living with diabetes.
The most effective healthcare provision will come through targeted services which deliver health promotion, and primary and secondary prevention programmes which are appropriate for the group of patients being treated, taking particular account of their age, gender and culture.
Mr Sanders is also throwing his support behind Diabetes UK’s 15 healthcare essentials campaign, which emphasises the crucial role that good management can play in relation to the overall health of people with diabetes and the reduction of the impact caused by the complications of the condition on their daily lives.
At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday 14 December, Mr Sanders asked David Cameron to give consideration to the use of NSFs to help people with diabetes, and also as a method of meeting the challenges to NHS services and budgets; the Prime Minister acceded to this request. Mr Cameron went on to highlight the key issues in relation to diabetes which included raising the profile of the condition, to ensure proper diagnosis of all cases in the UK, and preventing the causes of the Type 2 diabetes, particularly bad diet and obesity.
"We must act now"
Adrian Sanders MP said, "It is sobering news that each year there are around 24,000 avoidable deaths of people with diabetes. We must act now to ensure that the support services available to people with diabetes are tailored to ensure that the right types of treatment are offered to the right patients.
"I am calling for an immediate start to consultation on a new strategy for the treatment of diabetes, to build on the existing National Service Framework and meet the growing challenges that lie ahead for diabetes health services. We need to create a system which allows patients and doctors to work together to empower patients to manage their conditions and get access to the healthcare that they need.
"In creating the new framework we should listen to the people who know most about their condition, the patients, to make sure that future services provide effective support for all people with diabetes in the UK."