Many thanks for your emails about support and treatment for people with diabetes. I have made a note in my diary about the Diabetes is Serious Parliamentary reception and art exhibition on Wednesday 20th April 2022 and I will attend if my diary allows.
Diabetes is a leading cause of premature mortality, doubling an individual's risk of cardiovascular disease. With over 22,000 additional deaths each year, it costs over £10 billion every year to manage.
While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes. That is why I am delighted that prevention is at the heart of the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP). One of the key commitments in the LTP is to double, to 200,000 people per year by 2024, the scale of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme which supports those identified as high risk of type 2 diabetes to reduce their risk.
To date NHS England has invested approximately £120 million of funding into local services to improve performance in the treatment and care of people living with diabetes since 2017/18. This is focused on improving attendance at structured education to increase understanding, improving achievement of NICE targets, reducing amputations through improved provision of multidisciplinary footcare teams, improving timelines of referrals from primary care for patients with diabetic foot disease, and reducing lengths of stay for diabetic inpatients through specialist nursing services.
I absolutely agree that technology could, and should, provide vital support to people managing diabetes and I know that new treatments and technologies are being created all the time. I welcome the Department of Health and Social Care Research and Development Budget for 2021 of £1.3 billion, which underlines the commitment to ensure that the best possible treatments and technologies are available through the NHS at the earliest opportunity. I hope this reassures you about the commitment to tackling diabetes as well as supporting those living with it to lead healthier lives.
If you or anyone you know is affected by these issues and you think that I can help, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me about these important issues.
31 March 2022