Scottish government to target diabetes amongst young Scots

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The Scottish government has announced an increased availability of insulin pumps for a quarter of young Scots.  The plan, announced at the SNP conference on Friday, will see access to insulin pumps increased by a quarter by 2013.

It was also confirmed that over the next three years, the number of insulin pumps available to people of all ages with type 1 diabetes will almost triple to more than 2,000.

The pumps are small medical devices that are attached to the individual’s body and are programmed to administer the correct amount of insulin needed to ensure good glucose control.  This automation removes the need for insulin injections and makes the condition easier to manage.

Although not suitable for everyone living with type 1 diabetes, the pumps will make a dramatic difference to the quality of life for those eligible and improve their chances of living longer, healthier lives.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said:

“The pumps can mean freedom from having multiple injections a day, and, for the youngest diabetics, can go some way to giving them back a normal childhood.

“I want to see insulin pumps made available to 25 per cent of children and teens with type 1 diabetes by 2013.  We will also increase the number of pumps available to all Scots to over 2,000 – almost tripling the current amount over the next three years.

“Diabetes is a growing problem for NHS Scotland.  It’s now thought that around 10 per cent per cent of overall hospital expenditure relates to the treatment of diabetes and its complications.

“The consequences of not dealing effectively with diabetes can cause long term health problems and we need to make sure that the youngest people with type 1 diabetes get the treatment that’s right for them as early as possible.”

11.6 per cent of people with diabetes in Scotland have type 1 diabetes.  The number of sufferers has increased from 26,294 in 2006 to 27,910 in 2010 and includes 2,872 people under the age of 18.

NICE Guidance on eligibility for insulin pump therapy suggests that between 4 per cent and 14 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes may benefit from treatment.