Glasgow MSP, Humza Yousaf, has gathered cross party support from MSPs across Glasgow urging the local health board to make insulin pump availability more of a priority.
Yousaf has gathered signatures from colleagues in the SNP, Labour Party and Conservatives in a letter he has sent to Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board.
Commenting, Humza said: “The issue of provision of insulin pump therapy in NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde is of real concern. The figures published in the 2010 Scottish Diabetes Survey show that between 2009/10 there was an increase in provision from 0.9% to 1.1%. This is not just disappointing as a rate of increase but when compared to the number of people with Type 1 diabetes who could benefit from this therapy (12%), it signals that there is not enough priority given to this area.
“Glasgow has one of the highest incidences of Type 1 diabetes, yet other health boards across the country are leading in terms of making this vital therapy more readily available.
“It is not often you will find politicians coming together on one platform, but when it comes to issues that are of such importance to the people of Glasgow then we have a duty to unite, regardless of what political party we represent. Insulin pump therapy is not for everyone with Type 1 diabetes, but for those that do feel a benefit the change is often life changing. Im hoping we can sit down with the health board and chart a way forward that is to everyones satisfaction.”
Diabetes UK Scotland also commented, saying: “Insulin pumps should be a mainstream therapy but in Glasgow & Clyde they remain a rarity. Only one out of ten people who could benefit from pump therapy are currently doing so. Diabetes UK Scotland is challenging the Health Board to recognise the impact of this on people with diabetes and their families, to review current arrangements and deliver a plan to meet the needs of people living with diabetes for whom insulin pumps would be a positive benefit to their future health.
“The support of local MSPs is a welcome boost to making progress on this important issue.”
Full text of letter:
Ms Catriona Renfrew
Director of Corporate Planning and Policy
Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Board
J B Russell House
Gartnavel Royal Hospital Campus
1055 Great Western Road
Glasgow G12 0XH
Dear Ms Renfrew,
The issue of provision of insulin pump therapy in NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde is of real concern. The figures published in the 2010 Scottish Diabetes Survey show that between 2009/10 there was an increase in provision from 0.9% to 1.1%. This is not just disappointing as a rate of increase but when compared to the number of people with Type 1 diabetes who could benefit from this therapy (12%), it signals that NHSGGC have not given put a high enough priority on this area.
I understand that, despite the business plan of the Diabetes Managed Clinical Network committing to a growth in pump usage by 100 patients a year, this has been scaled back to 21. Whilst I recognise the pressure on NHS budgets and fully understand that introducing a new therapy is a complex process, I can also see that insufficient priority was given to developing a pumps service when budgets were growing. From this I would infer that not enough attention has been paid to this area over the long term, which has left NHSGGC behind other large Health Board areas such as Tayside, Lothian and Fife.
People with diabetes and the organisations that support them, such as Diabetes UK Scotland; know the value of pump therapy in improving quality of life. However, the NHSGGC position seems more focused on research, taking less account of patient experience. It is difficult to understand this fixed position when other Heath Boards and their clinicians take a different view. The end result is the majority of people with diabetes in the Board area who could benefit from pump therapy are not currently receiving it.
I would urge the Health Board to listen to patients and reconsider its position by making insulin pumps a mainstream therapy for the people of Greater Glasgow & Clyde.
As elected members in the city of Glasgow we believe our constituents could greatly benefit from a wider availability of insulin pumps. I look forward to hearing from you soon on how we may be able to make progress on this issue.
Humza Yousaf MSP, Hanzala Malik MSP, Ruth Davidson MSP – Glasgow Region
John Mason MSP – Glasgow Shettleston
James Dornan MSP – Glasgow Cathcart