ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP for DIABETES

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					             ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP for DIABETES.

   Officers: Adrian Sanders MP, Helen Southwark MP, Cheryl Gillan MP, Anne
                        McIntosh MP, Phillip Dunne MP
                                       &
  ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP ON EYE HEALTH AND VISUAL
                                IMPAIRMENT.

  Officers: Sandra Gidley MP, Baroness Knight of Collingtree, Linda Riordan MP,
             David Heath MP, Dr Doug Naysmith MP, David Amess MP

  MINUTES OF JOINT MEETING HELD TUESDAY 23 OCTOBER
            2007, 3:30pm COMMITTEE ROOM 18

In attendance
MPs and PEERs
Adrian Sanders MP (Chair)
Sandra Gidley MP (Chair)
Philip Dunne MP
Doug Naysmith MP
Betty Williams MP
Richard Taylor MP
Dai Davies MP
Helen Southworth MP
Baroness Masham of Ilton
Third Parties
Dr Peter Scanlon      Programme Director for the Diabetic Retinal Screening
                      Programme in England.
Sally Sharman         Diabetes Nurse and Retinal Screening Sister for Chelsea and
                      Westminster PCT
Sharon Sutton         a Person with Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy.
Angela Style          Head of Campaigning, Diabetes UK
Bridget Turner        Head of Healthcare Policy, Diabetes UK
Phaedra Neal          Public Affairs Officer, Diabetes UK
Steve Winyard         Head of Campaigns, RNIB
Dan Scorer            Parliamentary Officer, RNIB
Ellen Colquhoun       College of Optometrists
Business

   1. Apologies were received from 36 MPs and 6 Peers.

   2. Dr Peter Scanlon addressed the group on progress being made towards
      meeting the National Service Framework targets for retinal screening in
      England.
      Dr Scanlon reported that a major concern was that a large number of patients
      with diabetic retinopathy are not receiving follow up appointments for
      treatment. This is believed to be an unintentional consequence of the 18 week
      waiting target for new patient appointments which are taking priority over
      appointments for patients with severe retinopathy, as there are no targets for
      the treatment of retinopathy.
      This needs to be documented and addressed urgently.
      Other issues raised by Dr Scanlon were a need for quality assurance, the need
      for peer review visits for quality review, the need to make screening more
      easily accessible to all population groups, for example those in rural areas,
      and the need for electronic links between screening services and general
      practice as discrepancies in paper records mean people are falling through the
      net.

   3. Sally Sharman explained to the group the retinal screening process. She
      explained that retinal screening nurses have 40 minutes during which they can
      speak to the patients about all aspects of the care not just the retinal eye
      screening. She also raised concern that there appears to be a shortage of retinal
      screening nurses, possibly due to a lack of funding.

   4. Sharon Sutton addressed the group on her experience as a person with diabetes
      who has developed severe retinopathy and loss of vision. She explained that it
      is not a positive service for users and that the service is not working in
      practice. She highlighted a lack of communication and information sharing
      between GPs and consultants as a problem, especially with regard to referrals
      and follow up appointments for treatment. She highlighted the need for patient
      education to empower people with diabetes and clear and effective care
      pathways for treatment. She also highlighted her son’s improved HbA1c levels
      since he has been receiving care in the community.

   5. It was noted that it would be useful to hold another meeting on the retinal
      screening service with the Minister present.

   6. Date of the next APPG meeting is January. (Exact date to be confirmed

				
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