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DH funds pioneering diabetes treatment

A revolutionary new treatment will offer new hope for people with type 1 diabetes, Health Minister Ann Keen announced today.

From April this year, a specialised service at six centres across the UK will allow selected people with type 1 diabetes to live free from the risk of hospital admissions associated with hypoglycaemia.

The Department of Health are to invest up to £2m in islet transplant services in the first year, increasing this to £7m in the longer term.

Health Minister Ann Keen said: “In developing islet transplants for people who suffer from hypoglcaemia, the NHS is at the forefront of worldwide clinical innovation. This programme will ensure that people who have been unable to treat hypoglycaemia with conventional therapies will benefit from significant improvements to their quality of life.”

Douglass Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “We are delighted that Diabetes UK-funded research has poved to the government what huge immediate and long-term potential islet transplantation has. The Department of Health's decision to fund this programme will be life changing for some people with type 1 diabetes who suffer from the most serious effects of hypoglacemia.

“Resolving the worst cases could save the NHS a significant amount of money, as hypoglacemica attacks cost £15m a year in hospitalisations and ambulances alone.”
Department of Health