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Insulin Pumps

Volume 548: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2012

We are currently undertaking a national audit to give us a clear picture of provision of pump services in England. This will be published shortly. The rapid response survey for 2010-11 suggests that half of all those eligible for a pump in England already have one, or have funding agreed—a significant improvement on the initial survey in 2010.

I thank the Minister for that reply. I am sure he will be aware that Nicola Sturgeon, the Health Minister in the devolved Administration at Edinburgh, announced earlier this year that all the under-18s requiring an insulin pump would get one. My constituent 13-year-old Fiona Clark has been told by Yorkhill hospital in Glasgow that she will have to wait an unspecified time to receive the pump her doctors say she needs. Given that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence estimates the standard benchmark rate for the uptake of insulin pump therapy for type 1 diabetes in England is 12.4%, will the Minister offer his Department’s assistance to help those in Scotland to get above the current paltry 3.1% uptake?

I am extremely grateful to the hon. Gentleman, but as he will appreciate as a Scottish Member of Parliament, this is a devolved responsibility for the Scottish Government. On the specific issue—[Interruption.] If the right hon. Member for Leigh (Andy Burnham) would shut up, it would be helpful. It would probably be useful if the hon. Gentleman raised the specific issue with the Scottish Government, but on the general principle let me say that we are determined, certainly in England, to do all we can through education, the workings of the NHS and the operating framework to ensure that the number of people receiving pumps increases, as it already has in the last two years.