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Diabetes (Stoke-on-Trent)

Volume 453: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

11. What the increase has been in the number of people with diabetes in Stoke-on-Trent over the last five years. (103777)

We do not hold the information in the format requested. Our latest figures show that there has been an overall increase in the prevalence rate of diabetes in Stoke-on-Trent of 11.3 per cent. since 2004.

I thank the Minister for that reply, but in Stoke-on-Trent the rate is 4.2 per cent., compared with the national average of 3.6 per cent. My constituents are distressed about the fact that the PCT and GPs are taking away blood glucose test strips. Does she agree that it is really important to have a structured education and support system in place, and will she work with the national Diabetes UK association and the all-party group on diabetes to try to find a way of making sure that we do not have health inequalities of that kind in areas such as Stoke-on-Trent?

My hon. Friend is right to say that that kind of supported education programme is extremely important. The work done by Diabetes UK, together with some of the regional teams that we have set up through the Department’s diabetes national service framework, is making a real difference in many areas of the country. I know that, particularly in her area, diabetes clinics, patient information and the work of the diabetes networks have been effective in putting in place some of the education to which she refers.