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Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 26 April 2011

4. What his policy is on funding for a national framework and quality of service guidelines for diabetes patients. (52551)

To support the NHS in improving outcomes, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has published a quality standard for diabetes building on the existing national service framework, which provides an authoritative definition of good-quality care. Under proposals in the Health and Social Care Bill, quality standards will have a central role within the new system’s architecture.

May I declare my interest as someone who has type 2 diabetes, and remind the Minister that we currently spend 10% of the NHS budget—£1 million an hour—on diabetes-related illnesses? Does he agree that what is central to this framework is providing funding for prevention? If we can prevent and assess diabetes, we will save a great deal of money in the long run.

I certainly agree with the right hon. Gentleman that prevention is undoubtedly the right way forward, but earlier diagnosis is also very important. That is why we continue, as a Government, to support the roll-out of NHS heath checks for people aged 40 to 65 as a way of ensuring that we detect more readily and earlier so that we can provide the appropriate support.

Just 10 minutes ago, I met representatives of Diabetes UK, who want to see greater emphasis on integration and co-operation between and within services in the NHS Bill. Can I assume that they will not be disappointed?

As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has already indicated in today’s exchanges in this House, we are committed to listening and reflecting during this pause, and to ensuring that we come back with substantive improvements to the Bill to deliver its central purpose of improving health care for the people of this country.