East Ham MP welcomes new sickle cell care standards
- Credit: Darnell Ibraham
The MP for East Ham has praised new care standards for patients with sickle cell disease.
Stephen Timms joined parliamentarians, healthcare professionals and patients at Portcullis House for updated standards’ launch event.
The standards, which followed an earlier edition released a decade ago, aim to improve care for patients suffering from the genetic blood disorders, which mainly affect people of African and Caribbean backgrounds.
“I welcome the new standards,” the Labour MP told the Recorder.
“They outline a minimum expected level of care, and aim to reduce inequalities in health provision.
“The principles outlined are timely. They include offering care close to home where possible, regular reviews of service quality and specialist psychological support as part of overall treatment.
“I congratulate the Sickle Cell Society and all who have worked on producing these new standards. I hope they will improve the experience of sickle cell patients, locally and nationally.”
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Wednesday’s launch, by the Sickle Cell Society in partnership with the UK Forum on Haemoglobin Disorders, was hosted by shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on sickle cell and thalassaemia.
“There is still a disparity in the quality of care across the different regions of the UK but these standards are a great step towards ensuring that every sickle cell patient, whatever region they live in, get the same high quality of care,” she said.
As well as launching the new standards, the event served as an opportunity for individuals and groups to network and combine efforts to see continued improvement of care.
Speakers included patients discussing the disease’s impact on their lives, Sickle Cell Society chair Kye Gbangbola and John James, the group’s chief executive.
“We hope that the standards will become an invaluable tool for all key stakeholders of the condition to use to ensure that they are meeting best practise,” said Mr James.
“The previous standards played an instrumental role in improving care for sickle cell patients but there is still much to do.
“The second edition of the Standards will be another significant step towards improving care across the country.”