Herefordshire residents are being urged to eat healthily and be more active in order to help reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes during Diabetes Prevention Week (16-22 April 2018).
It is estimated that around five million people in England are currently at risk of developing type 2 diabetes; which can lead to other serious conditions including strokes, heart disease, limb amputation and early death.
Diabetes and its complications cost £8.8 billion every year to treat and one in six patients in hospital has diabetes. Around nine out of 10 people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes which is closely linked to obesity and yet is largely preventable by eating healthily, being more active and losing weight.
GPs and other healthcare professionals in [the area] are using Diabetes Prevention Week to urge residents to find out if they are at risk and take action to improve their future health.
Healthier You the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is a free local service for those who are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes. The programme is designed to stop or delay the onset of the disease through a range of personalised lifestyle interventions, including education on lifestyle choices, support for maintaining a healthy weight and weight loss where needed through healthier eating and bespoke physical activity programmes.
Across Herefordshire over 10,000 people are at an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, but nearly 2,000 people have already been referred onto the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, with nearly 70 per cent taking up the offer to take control of their health and help fight this disease.
Dr Sarah Newey, GP and Clinical Lead at Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “It is now recognised that the onset of Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle through eating well and being more active.
“As a GP, I often see patients who are pre-diabetic so are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, so having the Healthier You programme to teach people the skills for prevention and control is a huge support in the fight against Diabetes.
“Many of my patients have already started and completed Healthier You, it is fantastic to see the positive effect and real benefits the programme is having on them and their family’s health. Healthier You is an invaluable resource in helping people to lead healthier lifestyles and reduce their risk in developing Type 2 Diabetes.”
“We just need to educate people that Type 2 diabetes is preventable it isn’t inevitable and make sure they are aware of the free help available. So, I encourage everyone to find out if they are at risk and to start to take steps to a healthier lifestyle - prevention is the cure.”
On Wednesday, 18 April 2018, we will be talking to people from our stand in Hereford outside WHSmith where we’ll be encouraging people to complete the Diabetes UK ‘Know Your Risk’ questionnaire to find out their risk of Type 2 Diabetes. If they are at moderate to high risk we will recommend them to contact their GP surgery to request a blood test to clinically assess if they are at an increased risk and get the support they need to help prevent Type 2 Diabetes through referral to the Healthier You programme.
From this week people can also get tested for free at the following pharmacies across the county:
- Boots, High Street, Ledbury
- Dudley Taylor Pharmacy, 1-2 St Owens Mews, Hereford
- H G Clewer, Westfield Walk, Leominster
- Cohens Pharmacy, Kent Avenue, Ross-on-Wye
You can check to see if you are at risk of type 2 diabetes at www.diabetes.org.uk/risk.