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[IPk] Pumps and the BDA

>Saw your letter in Balance, well done !  I was wondering if anyone or everyone
>is a BDA member and whether they belong to a branch and attend Voluntary
>Conference. If the answer is yes then I am hatching a little pumpers plot for
>the next conference in Feb.  If you are a BDA member could you let me know and
>also if you know could you tell me who your area-coordinator is.  I think
>it is
>time the rest of the BDA membership got to hear and see more about pumps and
>pumpers, any comments ?

Moira - Lots of comments :-)

The plot so far...

I had a interesting correspondence with Harry Keen last year, over why the
BDA had no policy regarding insulin pumps, why their helpline didn't know
who made pumps, and why they had no idea that pumps were becoming
increasingly popular in other countries, but not Britain. (1 in 7 uses a
pump in Germany, 1 in 1000 in Britain)

The upshot was that I pestered John Isitt, the Balance editor, to do an
article on pumps, which came out in the recent the July issue of Balance,
featuring interviews with Eleanor and myself. (Eleanor has not been around
for some weeks. I think she's on holiday.) The BDA helpline then received a
large number of calls about pumps. I've no idea what their response was.
Also, John Davis received over a hundred calls through his Bournemouth
based pump-charity, INPUT.

This has now been followed up by Di's letter in Balance, which is fantastic.

We've got to keep the ball rolling. There are controlled pump evaluation
trials (crossover etc) underway now in Bournemouth and Harrogate, which
will give an academic basis to the claims about the benefits.

We have to win the battle at three levels: we need to win the heads of
doctors. The trials should accomplish this. We need to win NHS funding.
This should be achievable, since it will involve a gradual increase in
costs, rather than a sudden one, since the infrastructure is simply not
there to suddenly put 20,000 people on pumps. And we need to win the hearts
of people, so they will go out and ask their doctors about them, so that
doctors will see a demand. The BDA will be useful for diseminating this
sort of information.

I recently wrote to Calum MacDonald. He's the Member of Parliament with
insulin dependent diabetes. It would be useful to have an influential MP on
board. In last November's Balance, he wrote:

"I would normally eat at 6pm, but if there's going to be a big debate I
won't feel like eating... on the other hand if I don't eat, my blood
glucose will drop rapidly, and I don't want that happening when I'm giving
a speech either. What I tend to do is snack on fruit to tide me over".

My god, I thought. Here is a well informed intelligent member of our
government, and no-one has told him that it ain't no longer necessary to be
filling your face, in order to feed insulin already in the body. You can
now control what insulin is there on an hour by hour basis, so you don't go
hypo during a parliamentary debate.

Moira - let us know how we can create more pump awareness through the BDA.


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