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David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt respond to Diabetes UK's State of the Nation report

February 2015

The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, and the Prime Minister, David Cameron, have both responded to Diabetes UK'sState of the Nation report (PDF, 541KB).

Jeremy Hunt attended a special event in the House of Commons to launch the report, which shows there has been very little overall improvement in diabetes healthcare in the past year, with 40 per cent of people with diabetes still not getting the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE) recommended annual checks that they need to manage their condition.Speaking at the event Jeremy Hunt said: "As this report says, there is still a very long way to go and the care that we give people with diabetes and the effort that we put into preventing it needs to improve, and it is incredibly important that it does. Still, four people in 10 don’t get all those NICE checks and we still have about 100 amputations every week. The vast majority of which are preventable and many people who have an amputation do end up dying within five years and so it is very, very important that we avoid those if we possibly can.”“I’m optimistic that we are going to change this. I think the message that we are wasting money because we spend 80 per cent of our diabetes care on treatment rather than prevention, when it really should be the other way round, has filtered into the DNA of the NHS and the Five Year Forward View, which is the NHS’s own plan to take us to 2020.”The Health Secretary also discussed the Government’s plans to ensure everyone with a long term condition, including diabetes, has a named GP. He said: “Everyone who has a long term condition should have a doctor who is responsible for them, whether or not they’re in hospital, and making sure they have the right care so we can prevent them from having to go to hospital, and make sure there is a proper care package in place for the care that they need.”Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister David Cameron responded to Diabetes UK’s State of the Nation report by saying that there is “enormous potential” for the Government to make a difference to diabetes healthcare.

The Prime Minister made his statement about the report in response to a question from Adrian Sanders MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes, during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, 14 January. 

David Cameron said: “I will certainly look at this report, because of all the health care conditions diabetes is one of the ones where, if we act on it fast, we could have a huge knock-on effect on the NHS.“If we look at the costs of things such as amputations and other treatments because people are getting diabetes, we see that we could make an enormous impact. The hon. Gentleman raises the issue of people being able to self-regulate. An enormous amount of exciting new technology is coming forward on diabetes, and I want to make sure that that technology is rapidly adopted by the NHS.”Robin Hewings, Diabetes UK Head of Policy, said: “We are delighted to have the Prime Minister’s support on what is a very important issue. As our report makes clear many people with diabetes are struggling to get the care and support they need, which is leading to record rates of life threatening complications and huge costs to the NHS.“But by redesigning the way diabetes care is delivered so that people with the condition are able to effectively self-manage, as well greater focus on Type 2 prevention, we can reduce costs and the burden on the NHS. This is why we are calling on the Prime Minister to act on the findings in the report so that all people with diabetes get the quality healthcare they deserve.”

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