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Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to support NHS trusts in implementing the National Service Framework for diabetes. [116899]

We published the "National Service Framework for Diabetes: Deliver/Strategy" in January this year. The delivery strategy offers a framework for the national health service to deliver the national targets.Underpinning national action to support local implementation includes:

the appointment of a national clinical director for diabetes, to lead progress and provide support to the NHS
a "Diabetes Information Strategy" to develop information systems so that information is easily available to support people with diabetes and professional carers
a workforce programme to develop new roles and new skills
National Screening Committee pilots to test the practicalities of systematic screening for Type 2 diabetes in high-risk populations in primary care
NHS Modernisation Agency help to local NHS and partner organisations

We have also announced funding of £27 million to provide digital cameras and related equipment to support a programme of screening people with diabetes for the signs of diabetic eye disease.

In addition, £200,000 has been awarded to Diabetes UK to work with the National Clinical Director on a package of support to ensure people with diabetes are fully involved in helping the local NHS to plan, design and deliver diabetes services.

A copy of the delivery strategy is available in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on major screening programmes for diabetes in the NHS; and how they will be funded. [116900]

"Improvement, Expansion and Reform: the next three years", the planning and performance framework for 2003–06, includes a specific national target. It states that, by 2006, a minimum of 80 per cent. of people with diabetes are to be offered screening for the early detection and treatment, if needed, of diabetic retinopathy as part of a systematic programme that meets national standards, rising to 100 per cent. coverage of those at risk of retinopathy by end 2007.Funding totalling £27 million for the national health service to purchase state-of-the-art digital cameras and related equipment for screening people with diabetes for the signs of diabetic retinopathy was announced on 22 April 2003.

The Department of Health is funding a pilot project, which will inform the policy development on screening for Type 2 diabetes, focusing on those populations among whom the prevalence of diabetes and risk factors is highest.