- Monday, 09 July 2012
Rising levels of obesity and diabetes, fuelled by unhealthy lifestyles in an ageing population, are threatening to destroy achievements made tackling some of the UK’s most dangerous diseases, according to a task force of MPs.
Cross-party parliamentary groups on heart disease, diabetes, stroke and kidney disease have spent the last three months examining the key priorities for tackling cardiovascular disease – the UK’s biggest killer.
Their newly published report shows the NHS restructure, financial pressures, increasing life expectancy, and rising obesity levels mean the Department of Health needs to do more to sustain and improve progress preventing cardiovascular diseases. Download report.
It’s hoped the findings and recommendations in the report will inform the Government’s major new Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy, due winter 2012/13.
The groups, chaired by MPs Chris Ruane, Adrian Sanders, Helen Jones, Madeleine Moon and Robert Buckland, found:
than 5 million people will have diabetes by 2015.
Their report also highlighted the £14.4 billion annual cost of treating cardiovascular diseases, while lost working days and informal care are estimated to cost the economy another £16.3 billion.
It also warns transferring responsibility for NHS health checks to local authorities in April could mean even fewer people access this vital service. Latest figures show only 14 per cent of those eligible were offered a check. Three Primary Care Trusts failed to offer any health checks at all.
Chris Ruane, MP for Vale of Clwyd and Chair of the APPG on Heart Disease, said: “The fact that we’re living longer should be a cause for celebration but it shouldn’t lead to complacency.
“We’ve made excellent progress in tackling the causes of heart disease but still need to provide better outcomes for those who have heart disease and other related conditions.”
The MPs’ work has been informed by submissions from the Cardio and Vascular Coalition (CVC), a leading group of 40 voluntary organisations, including the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Diabetes UK, Stroke Association and Kidney Alliance.
Betty McBride, Chair of the CVC and Policy and Communications Director at the BHF, said: “The Outcomes Strategy will need to recognise that today’s heart patient could be tomorrow’s stroke victim.
“Cardiovascular diseases don’t wait in line - all too often people are living with more than one condition and this can have a devastating impact on people’s lives.”
The report makes 14 recommendations to the Department of Health, including:
marketing of foods high in fat, sugar and salt to
children, and plain tobacco packaging
at high risk as a priority, and report what action is then taken
Board should use to ensure consistent standards
support people living with cardiovascular diseases
The Minister of State for Health, Simon Burns MP, added: "We’re very grateful to the APPGs and the BHF for producing this report, and to all the individuals and organisations who have contributed their time and expertise.
“As we develop the Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy, these recommendations will be considered fully and carefully, alongside the feedback we are receiving from our engagement across the country.
“By all working together, we can improve outcomes for people with, or at risk of, cardiovascular disease and make a huge difference to people’s lives."
Read the full report and recommendations at www.bhf.org.uk and follow news about the strategy on Twitter using #tacklingCVD.
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