Scottish Parliament debates insulin pumps

By | 8 September, 2009
Words, words, words

Words, words, words

The thrill-seekers amongst us will be delighted to be informed that the provision of insulin pumps in Scotland was debated in the Scottish Parliament last week, in a motion introduced by David Stewart MSP (I never knew he got into politics after Eurythmics split up…)

The Parliament’s full report can be found here:

For those who can’t be bothered to read it all, in summary it says:

  • Pumps are good
  • Scotland is at the bottom of the league table of western health care systems’ delivery of insulin pumps (Yay! Go us!)
  • Scottish health boards don’t spend any money on pumps
  • Ross Finnie MSP is Type One (Hurrah! We’re represented!)
  • Although initially expensive, pumps work out cheaper in the end due to fewer complications
  • It’s silly that NICE demands you have bad control before you’re eligible for a pump
  • Did we say pumps are good?

For those that can’t even be bothered to read my summary, I’ve also illustrated this post at the top right with a word cloud made up of the content of the debate!

That pumps are being debated in Parliament is definitely a Good Thing and David Stewart should be congratulated for keeping diabetes and pumps on the agenda, as their provision in Scotland is shamefully low. However, whether we will see any great changes in the coming year or two remains to be seen. As always, I remain cynical but it’s nice to see diabetes isn’t being forgotten.

18 thoughts on “Scottish Parliament debates insulin pumps

  1. Alison

    Great to hear that the Scots are talking about this, that’s a nice first step. Now it’s down to you Tim and all your fellow Scots to help them turn their rhetoric into reality and drive them to deliver against their words. Go get ’em!

  2. Tim

    I feel like dressing up in my tartan, painting my face blue, and yelling “Freeeeedom! (from MDI for diabetics)” at the top of my voice!

  3. CALpumper aka Crystal

    And now here is the beginning of another Diabetes musical.

    Congrats to the Parliament on taking the first step to bring pumps into politics.
    Soon enough, Tim, you’ll be wearing one. 🙂

    1. Tim

      I will indeed be wearing one, I’m currently on an 18-month “waiting list” for one. Needless to say I’m not happy with that – more posts on this topic to follow!

  4. Lesley

    But NICE doesn’t require that you have poor control before you get a pump! Either “poor” control OR fear of hypos. Many HCPs and PCTs misinterpret this though, and its a postcode lottery throughout the UK, but Scotland is particularly bad. Wherever you are in the UK, if you get the right clinic, you’ve got a pump.


  5. Heidi

    Delurking after having stopped by here a few times 🙂

    – so that is why my GP over here (Glasgow) looked a bit puzzled at my pump and CGM 😉 I did have a feeling that pumps were not as widespread, but they aren’t really in Denmark (my home country) either. In Denmark 0.5-1.0% of the diabetic population is pumping insulin, and even though the number is slowly rising it still very much depends on where you live as it is the local hospital that is to cover the cost, not only of the pump, but also all the supplies, and not all hospitals have room for this in their budgets. Still, by your post Tim, it seems like it is just a bit worse in Scotland.

    Here’s to the Scottish Parliament for bringing up the issue, and to Tim for hopefully getting a pump sooner than in 18 month! 🙂

  6. Tim

    @Heidi Hurrah for delurking, Heidi! 😀

    Interesting to know what’s happening in Denmark, as it’s another small country that’s not wildly different from Scotland (it has greater availability of herring though (obviously)). I think Scotland is just at the bottom of the health league table for lots of things. Go us! 🙂

  7. Stephen Fyfe

    Hi Tim
    A very interesting blog – can you send me a copy of the pump debate word cloud? I think we could use it quite nicely (giving credit where due of course)
    Stephen Fyfe
    Diabetes UK Scotland

  8. bas82

    what gets me is how come dundee gets all the funding and all the trials????? our kids in lanarkshire have no funding to allow insulin pumps to be provided… ridiculous!!!


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