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Weekly diabetes parliamentary round-up

Our weekly diabetes parliamentary round-up is below. To see the full round-up please click for more at the bottom of the post.

House of Commons Questions

Keith Vaz – Dental Health: Children

Tue, 17 November 2015 | House of Commons – Written Answer

CONTENTS (Grouped questions)
(1) Asked by Keith Vaz (Leicester East) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to improve children’s oral health in England through (a) diet and (b) other methods.

(2) Asked by Keith Vaz (Leicester East) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to improve oral health as part of the childhood obesity strategy.

Answered by:
Jane Ellison
Answered on: 17 November 2015

Our comprehensive childhood obesity strategy, due to be published in the new year, will be looking at areas for potential action including diet and sugar consumption which are risk factors in poor oral health and tooth decay.

The Department is working with NHS England to test a possible new dental contract which will increase access and improve oral health. Building on earlier pilots we are about to move to a new stage of testing by establishing prototypes. The new dental prototypes will continue to test a clinical care pathway focussed on preventing future dental disease. This approach includes offering patients personalised care plans and advice to both patients and parents on diet and good oral hygiene.

In 2014 Public Health England (PHE) published an evidence informed toolkit for local authorities to support their work on oral health improvement among children and young people. PHE also published an evidence based toolkit for dental teams to support preventive advice and treatment for their patients. These toolkits include oral health improvement programmes and advice focussing on a healthier diet and reducing the consumption of free sugars.

In addition these toolkits include other methods to improve oral health, for example tooth brushing programmes and fluoride varnish application.

The PHE report Local authorities improving oral health: commissioning better oral health for children and young people: An evidence-informed toolkit for local authorities is attached and can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/321503/CBOHMaindocumentJUNE2014.pdf

The PHE report Delivering better oral health: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention is attached and can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/367563/DBOHv32014OCTMainDocument_3.pdf
Improving oral health(PDF Document, 1.93 MB) Delivering better oral health(PDF Document, 2.07 MB) Grouped


Keith Vaz – Sugar

Tue, 17 November 2015 | House of Commons – Written Answer

CONTENTS
Asked by Keith Vaz (Leicester East) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of Public Health England’s report, Sugar reduction: the evidence for action, published in October 2015.

Answered by:
Jane Ellison
Answered on: 17 November 2015

We are considering the evidence and advice in Public Health England’s report Sugar Reduction: The evidence for action, along with other areas for potential action, as we develop our childhood obesity strategy which will be published in the new year.


 

Andrew Percy – Department of Health

Thu, 19 November 2015 | House of Commons – Written Answer

CONTENTS (Grouped questions)
(1) Asked by Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking in response to the finding of research by P. Zainotto et al, forecasting obesity to 2010, published in 2006, that around 97 per cent of obese children come from families where at least one parent is obese or overweight.

(2) Asked by Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of (a) the prevalence of child obesity and (b) whether there is a correlation between child obesity and deprivation; and what steps his Department is taking to address that issue.

Answered by:
Jane Ellison
Answered on: 19 November 2015

We know obesity rates in children are far too high and children in lower income groups are more likely to be obese than the rest of the population, but it is an issue across all groups.

Tackling obesity, particularly in children, is one of our major priorities. Progress has been made in recent years, but we know we have much further to go. We will announce our plans for tackling childhood obesity in the new year.


 

MP Press Releases and Blogs

 

Keith Vaz MP – Article on Politics Home: Diabetes awareness will save lives

Mon, 16 November 2015 | MPs Press Release
CONTENTS

An article written by Keith for World Diabetes Day has been published by Politics Home, entitled ‘Raising diabetes awareness will save lives‘.

The article can be read in full below, or at this link: https://www.politicshome.com/health-and-care/articles/opinion/house-commons/keith-vaz-mp-raising-diabetes-awareness-will-save

Keith Vaz MP: Raising diabetes awareness will save lives

Ahead of World Diabetes Day, Chair of the APPG for Diabetes, Keith Vaz MP says raising awareness about the disease can “change lives, and maybe even save them.”

It is rare for diabetes to be so glaringly in the public eye. This is why those of us concerned about the treatment and prevention of the condition, spend so much of our time raising awareness.

In that sense, this year’s World Diabetes Day is remarkable. The landmark on 14th November follows bold reports by the British Medical Association, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and Public Health England, a high profile campaign led by Jamie Oliver for a sugar tax, NHS England’s Five Year Forward View, and the launch of a National Diabetes Prevention Programme.

This year, diabetes is a hot topic. People are not only talking about prevention, but also the treatment, education and self-management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. People are starting to see the scale of the challenge we face.

Scale of the Problem

I have stated many times that the greatest long-term threat to the National Health Service comes from preventable conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

The number of diabetics in the UK continues to rise. It has risen by 1.2 million in the last decade to over 3.3 million today, as well as an estimated 700,000 who do not realise they have the condition.

Of immediate concern, is that 35% of adults in England are estimated to have ‘pre-diabetes’, with higher than normal blood glucose levels and a high risk of developing the condition. The UK is also the fattest country in Europe, with 25% of adults obese, compared to 15% in France.

When reviewing these figures, we are now at the tipping point of an epidemic capable of crippling the NHS. At current trends another 700,000 people will be diabetic by the end of the decade.

We also face significant knock on costs and health complications from type 1 and 2 diabetes, with over 120 diabetes-related amputations, ‘hypo’ and ‘hyper’ attacks, retinopathy in the eyes, and other nasty problems should diabetes not be managed or treated properly.

Blue Monument Challenge

So on Saturday, we need to grab this opportunity with both hands. We have reached the peak of a crescendo in diabetes awareness, and that needs to translate into action.

Dozens of MPs have responded to the call of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes to participate in the Blue Monument Challenge. In this challenge, landmarks are lit blue to raise diabetes awareness.

As a result, this year buildings will be blue from London to Glasgow and Pendle to Gateshead, with landmarks including the SSE Hydro, Library of Birmingham and the Shard.

This very visible campaign not only spreads awareness in various constituencies, but engaging with MPs up and down the country adds to a growing cross-party consensus that we need a better way forward in tackling this condition.

Seizing Saturday

So this Saturday, whether you have diabetes or not, I call upon everybody to talk about diabetes, to think about our health, or even just see one of this year’s ‘monuments’.

We can talk until we are blue in the face in Parliament, but if it is people outside who are talking about this condition, we can all change lives, and maybe even save them.


Valerie Vaz MP – Valerie raises concerns over Walsall’s Public Health Funding ahead of World Diabetes Day

Sat, 14 November 2015 | MPs Press Release
CONTENTS

I have written to the Health Secretary over cuts to Walsall’s Public Health budget. World Diabetes Day is on 14 November 2015 and I recently joined actor Chizzy Akudolu from the BBC’s Holby City to raise awareness of Diabetes, a major public health issue.

There is growing concern in Walsall about the £1.6 million shortfall in public health funding. Under the current allocation, Walsall’s public health budget is already underfunded. The proposed reduction in funding will be a double hit on top of existing inequalities and will have a serious detrimental effect on public health in Walsall. If Walsall’s allocation was the same as neighbouring authorities with similar levels of deprivation, Walsall would receive an additional £4.26 million per year.

In my letter to the Secretary State for Health, I asked him to consider increasing Walsall’s public health budget as Walsall is number 35 on the list of the most deprived local authority areas in England, but will have the least funding per head of any authority in the Birmingham and Black Country area under the proposed arrangement.

Public health funding is intended to support people in protecting and improving their own health. Recent figures from Public Health England show that the health of people in Walsall is generally worse than the average in England. 68.9% of adults are considered overweight or obese and 8.6% of people registered with a GP have either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.

Diabetes has a wide ranging impact on people’s lives and its potential complications include heart disease and strokes. Ahead of World Diabetes Day on 14 November 2015 I met Chizzy Akudolu at the House of Commons at an event organised by the SiverStar Diabetes charity to raise awareness of Diabetes in Walsall South. There were nurses and a medical advisor at the event who were able to give advice on healthy lifestyles. This is a useful opportunity as the onset of Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented or delayed by a healthy lifestyle.

Preventing diseases such as Diabetes has the potential to save money for the NHS in the long term. Walsall’s Public Health Profile is significantly worse than the national average. Walsall needs its fair share of public health funding to tackle this inequality.


Mark Hendrick MP – Mark backs campaign to improve Diabetes Education

Fri, 13 November 2015 | MPs Press Release

Mark is backing a new campaign by ‘Diabetes UK’ calling for for action to ensure that people with diabetes have better access to diabetes education to help manage their condition.

The charity is launching a new campaign called ‘Taking Control’ which calls for education for all people with diabetes to be commissioned everywhere. This will be alongside a proper system that explains to people with diabetes the benefit of attending an education course.

Currently, less than 1 per cent of people with Type 1 and just 3.8 per cent with Type 2 Diabetes, who are newly diagnosed, are receiving an education course.

People with diabetes manage their own condition on a daily basis and may only see their healthcare professionals a few times a year. Access to high-quality diabetes education is essential for the effective monument of the condition.

The charity has warned that the poor diabetes education is causing devastating health complications for people with the condition, as well as increased costs to the NHS. Failure to manage diabetes effectively can lead to life-threatening complications such as blindness, stroke and amputations. The NHS spends nearly £10 billion annually on diabetes, 80 per cent of which is spent on treating potentially avoidable complications.

This is why Mark Hendrick MP has added his voice to Diabetes UK’s campaign, which is calling for local health leaders to invest in and promote diabetes education and increase the numbers of people receiving the education that they need.

Mark Hendrick MP said: “Diabetes is a very serious condition that can lead to devastating complications. This is why it is crucial that every individual with diabetes has access to the support and education they need to help them manage their condition well. This would significantly reduce their risk of developing complications, and also result in a reduction in costs to the NHS, both here in Preston and across the country.

Robin Hewings, Diabetes UK Head of Policy, said: “We are pleased to have Mark Hendrick’s support for our campaign that aims to help people with diabetes get the education they need to ‘take control’ of their condition. The poor provision of diabetes education is fuelling a health crisis that is leading to soaring rates of debilitating complications, premature death and huge costs to the NHS. Giving people with diabetes the support and information they need to stay healthy will save lives and money.”

The ‘Taking Control’ campaign is launching on Wednesday 11 November, ahead of World Diabetes Day on Saturday 14 November. Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #TakingControl.

To find out more about going on an education course, speak to your GP or healthcare professional. To find out more about the Taking Control campaign and how you can take action, visit www.diabetes.org.uk/taking-control


Andrew Bridgen MP – Diabetes Education

Fri, 13 November 2015 | MPs Press Release

North West Leicestershire MP, Andrew Bridgen, is backing a new campaign by Diabetes UK that calls for local action to ensure that all people with diabetes have access to the education and support they need to manage their diabetes well.

The charity is launching a new campaign, Taking Control, to call for education for all people with diabetes to be commissioned everywhere, along with a proper local system that explains to people with diabetes the benefits they will gain from attending an education course and ensures that courses are well run.

At the moment for individuals newly diagnosed with diabetes, less than 1 per cent of people with Type 1 and just 3.8 per cent with Type 2 are recorded as receiving a diabetes education course.

Access to high-quality diabetes education is essential for people with diabetes as they have to manage their condition themselves on a daily basis, and may only see their healthcare professionals a few times a year.

The charity has warned that the poor delivery of diabetes education is fuelling devastating health complications for people with the condition and huge costs to the NHS. This is because failure to manage diabetes effectively can lead to life-threatening complications such as blindness, stroke and amputations. These complications cause personal devastation and are also extremely costly. The NHS spends nearly £10 billion annually on diabetes, 80 per cent of which is spent on treating potentially avoidable complications.

This is why Andrew Bridgen MP has added his voice to Diabetes UK’s campaign, which is calling for local health leaders to invest in diabetes education courses and increase the numbers of people who attend, and to promote the benefits of diabetes education to people living with the condition.

Andrew Bridgen MP said: “Diabetes is a very serious condition that can lead to devastating complications. This is why it is crucial that all people with diabetes have access to the support and education they need to help them manage their condition well. This would significantly reduce their risk of health complications, resulting in a reduction in the associated costs to the already stretched NHS both here in North West Leicestershire and across the country.

“I will be talking to local NHS leaders about what can be done to help ensure everyone with diabetes in North West Leicestershire gets the education and support they need to manage their condition well. And I have also written to the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt to check that there are plans in place to support Clinical Commissioning Groups to invest in diabetes education courses.”

Robin Hewings, Diabetes UK Head of Policy, said: “We are pleased to have Andrew Bridgen MP’s support for our campaign that aims to help people with diabetes get the education they need to ‘take control’ of their condition. The poor provision of diabetes education is fuelling a health crisis that is leading to soaring rates of debilitating complications, premature death and huge costs to the NHS. Giving people with diabetes the support and information they need to stay healthy will save lives and money.”

The ‘Taking Control’ campaign is launching on Wednesday 11 November, ahead of World Diabetes Day on Saturday 14 November. Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #TakingControl.

To find out more about going on an education course, speak to your GP or healthcare professional. To find out more about the Taking Control campaign and how you can take action, visit www.diabetes.org.uk/taking-control

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