It is party conference season and this week I attended the Labour Party Conference in Brighton.
The aim of such conferences is to meet with delegates, charities, lobby groups and take part in debates, discussions and fringe events. It also offers the Opposition the chance to put out into the public domain, some of its manifesto plans for the forthcoming general election in 2015.
At my surgeries, I hear over and over again the severe problems many families are facing, especially the huge costs of childcare, fuel prices and the general cost of living. At Conference, there have been many discussions on these issues and I gained the impression that if there were a change of government, they would be given priority, including reversing the bedroom tax, which divides families, communities and discriminates against the disabled.
I also had discussions with Baroness Young, Chair of Diabetes UK, about the time bomb that is type 2 diabetes. It is one of the greatest health challenges we face at present. There are seven million people at high risk and an estimated 850,000 who have gone undiagnosed. However, there is something that can be done about it. An awareness campaign has been launched to let people know that their local pharmacist or doctor can do a risk assessment and offer advice. Please visit www.diabetes.org.uk for more information.