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Southport & Mersey Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 10 December 2007

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Wingwalkers search Merseyside for Lovebirds just plane crazy about each other..!

TEAM Guinot, the world’s only formation wingwalking team, are searching Merseyside for daring lovebirds hoping to land an expenses-paid marriage made in heaven…or to be precise 500 feet in the air!

The team’s sponsors, Guinot skincare, are offering 1 daring couple the amazing opportunity to wed on the wings of their famous wingwalking biplanes.

The happy couple and a highflying vicar will be strapped to the top wing of the biplanes before taking to the air for the wedding blessing of a lifetime. 

Friends and family will watch the airborne ceremony from the team’s beautiful First World War airfield before enjoying a sumptuous wedding breakfast laid on by glamorous Team Guinot.

“I can’t imagine a more unique celebration than declaring your vows whilst soaring above your friends and family.   It will be such fun to help the bride onto the wing in her bridal gown!”  says professional Guinot wingwalker Sarah Tanner.

Guinot will prepare the lovebirds for their special day with regular skincare treatments at their local Guinot salon, ensuring the happy couple look wonderful while literally feeling on cloud 9! 

Team Guinot will select a couple from each region of the UK and 14 couples will battle it out to convince the team why their wedding should be blessed in the skies.

To ensure you are selected as the Merseyside couple and to land this amazing opportunity highflying couples’ should send an email explaining why they are just plane crazy about each other.

  Click on to find out more!

5,500 people denied insulin pumps in the North West

DIABETES UK is calling for more access to insulin pumps for people with diabetes as research shows they are more effective in improving blood glucose control and reducing hypoglycaemic episodes than traditional insulin injections.

Current access to insulin pumps in the UK is patchy. Just over 2% (6,000) of people with Type 1 diabetes in the UK are using pumps compared to 15 to 20% in the USA and Germany. Diabetes UK estimates that a further 50,000 people in the UK are eligible for insulin pumps but are being denied access.  Diabetes UK wants PCTs (or their national equivalents) and health professionals to end this postcode lottery and for the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to review their restrictive guidance.

Researchers in Barcelona studied 153 people with Type 1 diabetes, who previously treated their condition with traditional injections. After 2 years of insulin pump therapy average blood glucose levels went down from 7.9% to 7.3% (good blood glucose levels are between 6.5% and 7.5 %). Good blood glucose control is crucial to reduce the risk of developing life threatening diabetic complications such as blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and disease and amputations. The study is published in the journal Diabetic Medicine.

Helen Pattie, North West Regional Manager for Diabetes UK, said:- “This research is more evidence that insulin pumps could benefit many more people with diabetes. Although pumps are not recommended for all people who manage their diabetes with insulin, it would be beneficial for many including those with Type 2 diabetes. PCTs must ensure that people have the option according to clinical need, personal choice and suitability.  The annual cost of a pump is more than insulin injections, £1,400 compared to around £500. However, in the long term it would benefit the NHS by reducing the cost of treating diabetic complications, which currently runs at £5 billion a year. Diabetes UK urges NICE to take account of this new research and enable those suitable for pump therapy to move towards achieving good blood glucose control when it publishes new guidance in 2008.”

Dr Ignacio Conget, Consultant Endocrinologist and Associated Professor of Medicine at the Endocrinology and Diabetes Unit in Hospital Clínic i Universitari, Barcelona, said:- “By the end of September 2007, 980 people with Type 1 diabetes were treated in Catalonia (around 7.5 million inhabitants) with insulin pump therapy using the established criteria for funding from our National Health Service. The main conclusion of our work is that although pump therapy may not be available for everyone who suffers from the condition, there is a subset of patients who could benefit the most. Therefore, the crucial point here is to perform an accurate selection of the best candidates for this sort of therapy.”

The financial costs to the NHS of treating the consequences of poorly controlled diabetes can include:-

* 1 overnight stay in hospital following admission to A&E for a diabetes emergency - £350

* 1 course of laser treatment for retinopathy - £850

* 1 procedure of dialysis treatment for kidney disease - £500

* Renal dialysis for the year - £15,000

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