HL Deb 29 July 2002 vol 638 cc149-51WA
Lord Lofthouse of Pontefract

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What progress they are making towards forming the Diabetes National Service Framework; and whether specific funding will be allocated to implement it; and [HL5364]

Whether they will make resources available to ensure that the Diabetes National Service Framework is effective; and [HL5365]

Whether they will make it clear to local health bodies that diabetes is a funding priority and should be included in future local health improvement programmes; and [HL5366]

Whether they have any plans to encourage local health providers (for example, general practitioner practices) to meet agreed diabetes standards by receiving additional central funds for so doing; and [HL5367]

Whether they believe that spending money on preventing and managing diabetes now will save money, as well as lives, over the long term, as the complications of diabetes can be delayed or avoided; and [HL5368]

Whether they think investment in the Diabetes National Service Framework will also help deliver existing government targets, for example, those on older people and heart disease. [HL5395]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

We published the standards for the Diabetes National Service Framework in December 2001. The forthcoming delivery strategy for the framework will set requirements for implementation at local level. Planning at a local level will respond to these requirements, taking account of local priorities and progress, and showing how milestones will be reached. Local strategies to deliver the framework will also be integrated in the wider planning process.

Funding for diabetes is being considered as part of the current government Spending Review, together with other priorities. The Budget provides the highest sustained growth in NHS history, with annual average increases of 7.4 per cent in real terms over the five years 2003–04 to 2007–08. Decisions about the allocation of the increased funding will be announced later this year. The pace of change for delivery of the Diabetes National Service Framework will take account of the resources that will be available.

Diabetes shares a number of common risk factors with coronary heart disease and stroke. Investment in the promotion of healthier lifestyles and in the control of blood pressure, in particular, will help to combat all three conditions. The standards for the Diabetes National Service Framework highlight the importance of common strategies for prevention and treatment. In doing so, they build on the National Service Frameworks for Coronary Heart Disease and Older People.

Under the new general medical services contract for general practitioners, a quality framework will reward practices for delivering quality care and provide extra incentives to encourage even higher standards of care. The NHS Confederation and the General Practice Committee of the British Medical Association are negotiating the content of the quality framework and this includes detailed clinical standards and their levels. The framework agreement makes clear that the standards will be fair, reasonable and evidence-based.