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Diabetes Treatment

Volume 596: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2015

I welcome my hon. Friend to her place. Building on the national diabetes prevention programme, we are developing a comprehensive action plan to improve the outcomes of people with and at risk of diabetes.

I thank my hon. Friend for her excellent response. As she will know, diabetes can often lead to the amputation of a limb. Fareham, my constituency, has one of the highest rates of limb amputations in the country. Can my hon. Friend please explain how the NHS diabetes prevention programme will address this issue?

My hon. Friend raises an extremely important issue. I welcome the fact that she has so quickly got to grips with some of the key local health facts in her area. Hon. Members across the House can look at how their clinical commissioning group is performing in the national context. My hon. Friend is right to say that her CCG performs poorly when it comes to amputations. There is a huge opportunity for improving the outcomes for people if we can get the worst-performing CCGs in that context up to the standard of the best. The national diabetes prevention programme is very much about preventing people getting to the stage where those complications can cause such terrible problems.

13. May I join the Minister in congratulating the hon. Member for Fareham (Suella Fernandes) on her place in this House? She was a worthy opponent of mine in 2005 and I am glad she managed to get elected. On the national diabetes prevention programme, for those of us who have diabetes the issue is what is corporate Britain doing to work with the Government in order to reduce the amount of sugar and fat in food and drink? Unless we do that, we cannot tackle the diabetes crisis that we will face. (900015)

The right hon. Gentleman is quite right. Tackling obesity is one the great public health challenges of our age. Right across the developed world we are looking at all the things that are going on around the world—the new science and the new research. The right hon. Gentleman is right to say that industry has a role to play, as has every part of Government—national Government and local government—as well as families, GPs and the NHS. This will be a whole-nation approach to tackling obesity. We are working on our plans, which I look forward to discussing with him in due course.

Type 2 diabetes is costing our NHS £9 billion a year, and obesity, as we have heard, is the major risk factor. Does the Minister agree with the previous Chair of the Health Committee, the hon. Member for Totnes (Dr Wollaston), who said the other week that

“Just taking a passive approach to”—

obesity—

“is not going to work…we have to go further than we’ve gone up to now in the responsibility deal”?

Does the Minister agree and what more is she going to do about it?

I welcome the hon. Lady back to her place. It is good to see her back in that job and not on the Government Benches. It is far from the case that we took a passive approach—far from it. Some important things were learned from the way we have worked with industry and we are looking to build on those, but as I have said, there is no silver bullet. There is not a single academic study in the world that says that the way to respond to obesity in the developed world is through a single mechanism. We have to look at a whole-system approach, and that is what we are doing.