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Volume 403: debated on Tuesday 8 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to make insulin pumps available to diabetes sufferers on the national health service. [105747]

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued its full guidance on the use of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion for diabetes in February 2003. The guidance states that insulin pump therapy is an option for some people with Type 1 diabetes. Health professionals are expected to take full account of this guidance when exercising their clinical judgement. Hospital consultants may prescribe equipment such as insulin pumps as part of national health service treatment. It is for the NHS locally to make decisions about the best use of its resources on the basis of its priorities and needs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on progress with the implementation of the national service framework for the treatment of diabetes. [107152]

We continue to lay the building blocks for implementation of the diabetes national service framework (NSF). We have appointed a National Clinical Director for Diabetes to lead progress and provide support to the national health service in delivering the NSF. The diabetic retinopathy screening programme is being developed and the screening pilots for Type 2 diabetes are already under way.