Although we have been a little quiet lately as we get more involved in seasonal preparations in the community, we are still keeping an ear to the ground for articles of interest.
One such article from the Daily Mail came across our desktops this morning which is of great interest and also a source of great frustration to us.
It is entitled:
“Hospitals deluged by 5,000 diabetics a DAY: One in 10 admissions is for diabetes as cost of treating patients DOUBLES in a decade”
and can be accessed via the embedded link.
The reason we think it’s a source of frustration is simple. The article details the costs of managing the estimated 4,7 million adults and children now living with type 2 diabetes in the UK. It also details the increasing burden of the approximate 5000 daily hospital admissions, (about 1,7 million annually), at a cost of around £22 million a day, or an eye watering £14 billion a year, has on the NHS which is under constant increasing pressure as it is.
the frustration is simple:
THE NHS COMMISSIONING BOARD SIMPLY STILL AREN’T LISTENING TO THE SCIENCE, AND INDICATIONS ARE THAT THEY HAVE NO INTENTION OF DOING SO.
That’s the question. It has been shown in benefit cost analysis by minds far superior to mine that the cost of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is negligible when compared with the requirements of the abovementioned hospitalisations and the various real terms time requirements, of and by NHS professionals to manage the increasing number of T2D patients. HBOT is cost effective and can be directly delivered by technicians rather than requiring one on one appointments with the doctor. By all means supervise treatment. One doctor or diabetes team can oversee thousands of treatments through trained technicians. It is very easily proved that any number of existing hyperbaric units can and would offer treatments at a reasonable cost far better than current practice and far better than private units currently charge. Additionally, that sum of money reported by the Mail Online could develop an NHS managed national network with ease. £22 million a day could essentially pay for 44 large multiplace hyperbaric chambers every day. For more simple chambers limited to diabetes treatments, probably four times that number. Yes of course there are running costs, but as a simple form of illustration this shows that adopting new approaches could reduce overall costs and improve patient outcomes. In Professor Philip James book, Oxygen and The Brain – The Journey of Our Lifetime The Prof goes into extensive detail on how cheaply this therapy can be delivered to large numbers of people.
It doesn’t take a scientist to understand why there is opposition to this being delivered cheaply. As we stated in our reply article to the Charity Commission, the reason for various elements within the industry having a desire to control this modality is because it works and it’s worth a great deal of money to some.
In our articles:
HYPOXIA INDUCIBLE FACTOR 1 & WOUND HEALING IN DIABETICS
as well as the article
OXIDATIVE STRESS, FREE RADICALS, RONS AND DIABETES
HYPOXIA – THE COMMON DENOMINATOR IN DISEASE, INJURY AND ILL HEALTH
as well as the one entitled
HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY DIABETES / OBESITY HYPOTHESIS – PART ONE…
as well as
IMPACT OF OXYGEN AVAILABILITY ON BODY WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
We detail, (as do all the reference sources), how hyperbaric oxygen therapy benefits diabetics with or without complications and how it can reduce the national financial burden of managing type 2 diabetes in society. And if I sound a little angry it’s because I am. Despite solid supporting studies and science, the NHS Commissioning Board still routinely dismisses HBOT as being inconsequential. They cite lack of quality studies as the reason for not commissioning it’s use more widely, or at least running trial programmes to improve outcomes for a multitude of patients. It is simply unreasonable to expect a person to believe that millions of people who say they have benefited are somehow all mistaken. Patients who continue to suffer, as well as multitude of taxpayers who continue to pay for existing treatment pathways, which could be made much more affordable and effective by making use of HBOT, which as been around quite literally for over a hundred years in its current form, deserve better quite frankly.
The NHS Commissioning Policy for a number of conditions including diabetic foot ulcer can be found via Google relatively easily. The bottom line remains the same though. The NHS will not currently commission the use of HBOT for diabetes management, despite good evidence and testimonials that it works, at reasonable cost. Further they will only commision the use of HBOT for a limited number of conditions from what are termed type 2 or type 1 services as defined by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The problem with that is fairly straightforward. Type 3 chambers fall outside this and are prevented from registering with the CQC. The politics of this is a veritable rabbit hole fraught with serious consequences to those who challenge it. It warrants a whole book let alone a simple article. The point being made is that for diabetic treatments, one does not need to be in a type 1 or 2 chamber in a hospital managed by a team of doctors. These treatments can be safely indirectly supervised and run by technicians from industries such as diving, aerospace, various medic professions and so on.
It is well established by now that HBOT reduces incidence of amputation, and in doing so prolongs life, improves wound healing outcomes, manages blood glucose, improves insulin response and more. It also accelerates the healing of the micro-vasculature including capillaries in the retina and kidneys which diabetes destroys. These being some of the most common complications of T2D, over and above foot ulcers. But still the evidence is ignored at massive personal and financial cost. I’m not one to rewrite past articles and reinvent the wheel as regular readers will by now know, so I encourage readers, and especially the NHS Commissioning Board and physicians alike, to read the articles cited above. Go and read the Mail Online Article too. It’s frightening. It really is. I am happy to engage anyone, in any process, at no cost, that would further the use of HBOT for the public good.
I am a diabetic myself, and more than likely as a result of my own actions. Having been a chef for most of my younger life, food was key. I don’t blame anyone but myself. But setting blame aside for a moment, consider that for 40 years or more the position of health professionals and authorities around the world advised a low meat and fat diet in favour of a high sugar and grain diet. There certainly is no consensus on this, however in the work of Professor Tim Noakes and many other ketogenic advocates, it seems we have been told do the very thing that has lead to this diabetes pandemic. It is certainly the responsibility of word health authorities to now support those of us who are suffering or at risk. It’s not quite as simple as being a bunch of donut eaters as some public figures have labeled us. Many of us continue to deteriorate despite not partaking of any sugar or carbohydrate. One of our cited sources is a Professor Dominique De Agostina who specialises in ketogenic diets combined with HBOT. His work is fascinating. His paper is cited in our article SPREADING THE WORD OF OTHERS.
It is true, that many can manage their diabetes with diet and exercise, and we have no desire to counter that. There are those however that do everything right and still don’t improve. These are the numbers that desperately need HBOT without having to go out and buy their own chambers.
Our articles above cite a good cross section of valid studies and references acceptable to rest of the world as reliable. They also give a scientific account of how the therapy actually works and its mechanisms.
This is open call to the NHS COMMISSIONING BOARD to open their minds a little and bring HBOT back to the table for discussion and consideration as an adjunct therapy for type 2 diabetes. It will eventually reach a point where you simply won’t be able to ignore it as the costs of traditional treatment becomes untenable. Must we wait for that eventual collapse of services? We all need to set ego aside for the benefit of the greater public good and agree to indicate the use of HBOT in the treatment of T2D. We also need to establish a new committee or board who can manage this that does not comprise of a handful of private operators with their own interests at heart.
There is an existing network, who with little assistance, could provide enough of a service to at least run trial programmes across the country. This could very easily be followed by the development of the charity and third sector who offer treatments for as little as £20 per session. With an estimated 20 to 40 sessions per patient this amounts to a max of £800 or so per person to bring the condition under control. Following this, the eye watering amounts of money mentioned in the Mail Online article can easily develop an NHS managed network of treatment centers in which costs can be controlled rather than sub-contracting the service.
We need to also keep the contracts away from profiteers and regulate this independently rather than private organisations who seek to monopolise and regulate an industry they also dominate. A definite conflict of interest under any law.
It’s time to step into the 21st century, set aside hard help opinions of old science, and follow the lead of many other national health providers across the globe.