asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will increase the resources available to general practitioners and the community health service in general so that more adequate surveillance of those suffering from diabetes mellitis may be carried out; and if he will consider providing a national service such as that provided for diabetics by the Whittington hospital in London.
No. So far as the general medical services are concerned, the extent of surveillance of their diabetic patients is for individual doctors to decide as an integral part of the care they provide. We have no plans at present to provide additional resources for this purpose. The priority for expenditure on surveillance by the community health services is a matter for local decision by health authorities. I am sure that close links between hospital specialties and family doctors, like those which have been established at the Whittington hospital, have a valuable place in the treatment of diabetic patients. The form of such links is in our view best left to local medical initiative.