Election fever

By | 21 April, 2010
Voting in the Edinburgh South West constituency, yesterday.

Voting in the Edinburgh South West constituency, yesterday.

You’d have to be a real moron to have missed the fact that a general election is currently underway in Britain. As I was away on holiday in sunny Yorkshire when the announcement was made, I remained completely ignorant of the fact until my return to Edinburgh. Which just goes to prove some point or other.

Anyway, you’ll be pleased to hear that I’m not going to burble on about the different political parties here. I’m the very definition of a floating voter and I generally decide for whom I’m voting when I get to the Polling Station. So no deeply-entrenched partisan views to bore you with!

However, it is clear that good old Blighty is somewhat cash-strapped at the minute and this is of concern, I think, to the pancreatically challenged hoards. No party in their right mind would cut spending on the NHS before an election. But once the next Parliament forms I think we’ll start seeing cuts on public services and the NHS will be a prime target – despite what some parties are saying about “protecting the NHS”. The inescapable problem with the NHS is that while it’s wonderful, it’s also bloody expensive.

So what do spending cuts mean to us? I shouldn’t imagine we would ever see cuts on really important stuff, like basic insulin supplies, but I can see some of the luxuries being trimmed. Perhaps the 18 month waiting list for a pump in Lothian will become a 24 month waiting list. Maybe Type Two’s will have their allowance of test strips (even more) limited. The prospects of getting CGMS funded by the NHS being reduced from “unlikely” to “when Hell freezes over”.

I believe that the availability of technology like pumps and CGMS is a really good think for diabetics. When you’re trying to manually recreate what your pancreas does automatically I’m afraid that injections and 5-a-day testing just doesn’t cut the mustard. We need better technology and equipment to help us maintain good levels.

So I’m somewhat pessimistic about health care provision whichever party gets in on 6th May. But I can guarantee that whoever’s unlucky enough to be my MP will quickly hear from me about diabetes issues before he’s* got his feet behind his new desk. Rrragh!

* I’m not being sexist by excluding “or she’s” here; we only have male candidates in my constituency. So there.

Category: The future Tags: ,

About Tim

Diagnosed with Type One when he was 28, Tim founded Shoot Up in 2009. For the diabetes geeks, he wears a Medtronic 640G insulin pump filled with Humalog and uses Bayer’s Contour Next Link blood glucose meter.

19 thoughts on “Election fever

    1. Alex

      Let’s just blame us Chronics for the recession. I honestly never have felt guilty when picking up my free prescriptions.
      For real cost cuts look no further than Trident.

      1. Tim Post author

        “look no further than trident” – I wondered when the first non-diabetes things would crop up in the comments.

        I think we should get rid of Trident and replace it with a massive James Bond style laser-beam device. That would be far cooler and very good for jobs at BAE Systems, etc.

  1. Hairy Gnome

    The key to making savings in the NHS lies with the management system. There has got to be a real problem somewhere when there are more managers than beds, maybe it’s time that NHS managers were offered a choice between resigning and summary execution?

  2. Alex

    why upgrage your nuclear stockpile?!
    Badly maintained nuclear bombs are a lot more scary.
    That’s what I call deterrent.

  3. Tim Post author

    @alex – he he he! Yes, Britain could also leave its stockpile in a shed with a dodgy lock. Very scary! 🙂

  4. aileen

    Yip, over the last few months the people who have been in touch with iPAG said they are being advised up to 3 years now! It appears none of the Health Boards are getting what they wanted in their business plans so waiting time is becoming longer. The new Diabetes Action Plan is due out soon and it may give a better indication of what’s happening throughout Scotland.

  5. aileen

    The stats we have are old and more than likely not accurate (health board responses to the government) We know some areas have no pump funding at all for the coming year so some have an indefinite wait! There doesn’t seem to be an option to go to another area even if you can’t get a pump locally… still lots of detective work needed to find out what is going on .. or not in the pump world in Scotland : (

    1. Tim Post author

      @aileen – rather than thinking about stats for postcode shopping for a pump, it might be an opportunity to allow for reasonable comparisons to be made between PCTs.

      1. Alison

        @Tim – the only problem with that is you get into endless arguments about whether the data is accurate, plus you end up with people being proud because they’re not quite as bad as the rest. I’d use published guidelines as the benchmark and if your PCT isn’t meeting them, you drive them to deliver. Whether your PCT is better or worse than another is just a distraction, they should be meeting the guidelines. Full stop.

        1. Tim Post author

          @alison – a very fair point; by arguing about how the data is collected one is effectively playing the player not the ball and it is a distraction. Would you say the NICE guidelines would be the most appropriate benchmark?

        2. aileen

          One problem in Scotland is NICE TA’s are not mandatory as they are in England. SIGN is wishy washy and doesn’t give any real guidance, it’s too open to interpretation so unless you have a very pro-pump health board it’s unlikely to be beneficial. The government say the expect Health Boards to implement NICE but then say it is up to each individual board. (to do what they want)

          The link to DUK manifesto and to email your MP’s http://e-activist.com/ea-campaign/clientcampaign.do?ea.client.id=82&ea.campaign.id=5859

  6. Caroline

    Getting back to election stuff, I emailed all my prospective mps, using the handy link someone (I think it was Alison, possibly just above here, but not sure, tired, apologies…) posted, which was great. I added in a section to the standard letter about how brilliant my new pump is, and asked what they intend to do about pump funding if they are elected. I recevied the reply below from one of them:

    “I have studied the Diabetes UK Scotland manifesto, ‘Improving Lives’. I was shocked to discover the scale of the problem.
    I will certainly work as hard as I can to make the issue taken seriously at Westminster.”

    Of course, that’s if he gets in, and I’m not planning to vote for him, but it was good of him to write. It was incredibly easy to email them all using the link. Does someone who knows where it is want to repost it here?

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