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Weekly diabetes parliamentary round-up

House of Commons Questions

Churchill, J – PMQs – Type 2 diabetes research

Wed, 1 February 2017 | House of Commons – Oral Question

Jo Churchill (Bury St Edmunds) (Con) This week the Danish drug firm Novo Nordisk invested £115 million in the UK to further research into type 2 diabetes. Will the Prime Minister join me in welcoming that investment as well as the academics and scientists involved, many of whom are from the EU and around the world and will appreciate the assurance she gave earlier? Will she also work with me to ensure that any innovations and new treatments get to patients as quickly as possible?

The Prime Minister As my hon. Friend will probably understand, I recognise this issue particularly personally, although I am a type 1 diabetic rather than type 2. Any investment in diabetes research is to be welcomed, and when new solutions and support for diabetics are found, it is important that they get to people as quickly as possible. A significant number of people in this country suffer from type 2 diabetes, and the figures show that there is a great risk that the number will increase significantly in the coming years. We need to do all that we can not only to prevent people from becoming type 2 diabetics in the first place, but to support those who have that condition so that people suffer from fewer complications and are able to manage their lives.


Older People: Health Education – DH – Jim Shannon

Tue, 31 January 2017 | House of Commons – Written Answer

Asked by Jim Shannon (Strangford) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent steps his Department has taken to issue guidance on how people aged 50 years and older might reduce the risk of their suffering strokes and heart attacks.

Answered by: David Mowat Answered on: 31 January 2017

The Department does not plan to issue any guidance on this matter.

A significant amount of work is being taken across NHS England and Public Health England (PHE) in relation to reducing risk of heart attack and stroke, including:

– PHE’s role in addressing cardiovascular disease (CVD) is set out in Action on cardiovascular disease: getting serious about prevention which is available at the following link and includes guidance in the form of resources and support that PHE provides to help tackle CVD prevention:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cardiovascular-disease-getting-serious-about-prevention

– PHE and partners have published an updated version of the Heart Age Tool, which is designed to help people understand their heart health and cardiovascular risk factors;

– PHE supports local authorities with delivering the NHS Health Check programme, tackling the leading risk factors that contribute to preventable death and disability with the potential reach of 15 million eligible people in England, and issues regularly updated best practice guidance to help aid the implementation of the programme;

– Rolling out the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme across England, offering intensive behaviour change support to individuals identified as at high risk of diabetes – a major cause of heart attack and stroke; and

– PHE also manages campaigns specifically targeting the over 50s including the Be Clear on Cancer campaign to raise awareness of respiratory symptoms, including breathlessness, which can be a symptom of heart disease and the Act FAST campaign to raise awareness of the signs of a stroke and encourage people to call 999 immediately, so that those experiencing a stroke get to hospital as soon as possible.


Diabetes: Health Education – DH – Keith Vaz

Fri, 27 January 2017 | House of Commons – Written Answer

Asked by Keith Vaz (Leicester East) To ask the Secretary of State for Health, which clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have received funding under the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme; and how much funding each of those CCGs received.

Answered by: Nicola Blackwood Answered on: 27 January 2017

In 2016/17, NHS England funded local health economies with a total of £1,474,500 to support implementation activities and costs relating to the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP). Health economies are partnerships of clinical commissioning groups and local authorities.

NHS England has also nationally commissioned the NHS DPP behavioural interventions that are provided to local health economies.


School Milk – DfE – Julie Elliott

Fri, 27 January 2017 | House of Commons – Written Answer

Asked by Julie Elliott (Sunderland Central) To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans her Department has to encourage greater uptake of free milk in schools and nurseries.

Answered by: Edward Timpson Answered on: 27 January 2017

The government wants pupils to be healthy and well nourished. We already encourage the consumption of dairy products as part of a balanced diet through school funding, legislation and guidance.

Schools must provide free milk to all disadvantaged pupils when it is served during the school day as required by free school meals and milk legislation. Free milk is also provided to pupils in reception, year 1 and 2 when served as part of universal infant free school meals provision. To improve uptake, we are exploring what opportunities exist in the longer term to make the free school meals registration processes more efficient.

The School Food Standards provide the legislative framework to ensure schools provide children with healthy food and drink options, which includes a requirement to make milk available at least once during the school day. As part of our work on the childhood obesity plan we will be promoting these standards to those academies and free schools where they do not already apply.

Department of Health spending on the Nursery Milk Scheme has doubled since 2007/08. The Scheme provides 1/3 pint (189ml) of milk per day to children under the age of five attending childminders or private and local authority nurseries for at least two hours a day. In addition, the EU School Milk Scheme provides subsidised milk to school children and plays a valuable role in encouraging the consumption of dairy products and contributing to the development of healthy eating habits from an early age.


Soft Drinks: Taxation – HM Treasury – Mr Laurence Robertson

Fri, 3 February 2017 | House of Commons – Written Answer

  1. Asked by Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury) To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what criteria he is using to determine which soft drinks will be subject to the soft drinks industry levy announced in the Budget 2016.
  2. Asked by Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury) To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the potential revenue to the Exchequer from the proposed soft drinks industry levy.
  3. Asked by Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury) To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the possible negative effect on businesses of the proposed soft drinks industry levy.

Answered by: Jane Ellison Answered on: 03 February 2017

As announced at Budget 2016, the levy will apply to added sugar soft drinks with total sugars above 5 grams per 100 millilitres.

The Government consulted on the detail of the soft drinks industry levy last year. In December 2016, we published our formal response to the consultation, alongside draft Finance Bill legislation, setting out further detail on the scope of the levy and those drinks included.

As for every Finance Bill measure, HM Revenue and Customs published a Tax Impact Information Note which included an updated impact assessment.

The Office for Budget Responsibility has estimated that the levy will raise £520m in the first year, £500 million in the second year, falling to £455m in the third year as more producers reformulate. These estimates are sensitive to the speed of reformulation.


Exercise: Children – DfE – Maggie Throup

Thu, 2 February 2017 | House of Commons – Written Answer

Asked by Maggie Throup (Erewash) To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make it her policy to ring-fence a proportion of the revenue raised from the sugar levy to support the least active children to exercise more.

Answered by: Edward Timpson Answered on: 02 February 2017

We want all pupils to be healthy and active. Since 2013, we have invested over £600 million of ring-fenced funding to improve PE and sport in primary schools through the Primary PE and Sport premium. Evidence indicates that the funding is having a major impact, with 84% of schools reporting an increase in pupil engagement in PE during curricular time and in the levels of participation in extra-curricular activities.

Schools have the freedom to decide how best to use the funding based on the needs of their pupils, and the evidence indicates that the majority of schools are already targeting some of their funding at the least active pupils within their schools.

But we know that there is more to do, which is we have committed to using revenue from the soft drinks industry levy to double the primary PE and sport premium to £320 million a year from September 2017. This will enable schools to make further improvements to the quality and breadth of their PE and sport provision.

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