Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Public Health Teams are encouraging anyone who has been identified as being at risk of type 2 diabetes, through a blood test, to take part in the diabetes Healthier You programme, helping them to reduce their risk.
Type 2 diabetes is increasing – in the last five years over half a million people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in England. And it’s estimated that over five million people in England are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
There are certain factors and groups of people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. These include anyone who is white and over 40; anyone who is African-Caribbean, Black African, or South Asian and over 25; anyone with a parent, brother, sister, or child with diabetes; anyone who has ever had high blood pressure; if someone is overweight, especially around the middle; anyone who has ever had a heart attack or stroke; anyone who has schizophrenia, bipolar illness or depression, or is receiving treatment with antipsychotic medication; or women who’ve had polycystic ovaries, gestational diabetes, or a baby weighing over 10 pounds.
Dr Mark Brookes, local GP and Clinical Lead for Diabetes at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, said: “Having type 2 diabetes can completely change and affect your daily life. Which is why, if you are at risk, we are so keen to help you before you develop diabetes. Type 2 diabetes represents a real threat to health. If untreated it can lead to stroke, blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation.
"If you're at risk you can take part in the local Heathier You service, which will provide valuable support to help you put your health back in your hands and reduce your risk of, or even stop you, developing type 2 diabetes. You’ll get the chance to meet other people looking to lower their risk and you may be able to speak to trained professionals online and over the phone too. Speak to your GP or nurse to get referred to this service.”
Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through losing weight, eating healthily, and being more active. Anyone needing help with these can speak to their GP or practice nurse and get referred to the local programme.
Val Thomas, Consultant in Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Type 2 diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition which can seriously damage your heart, your eyes, your feet and your kidneys if it’s not spotted early enough or is left untreated. That is why it’s so important for people to take charge of their health and wellbeing and take steps to reduce the risk of developing this potentially preventable condition. Taking part in the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will give personalised support to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes such as healthy eating and how to lose weight. The good news is if you’re at risk of Type 2 diabetes there are lots of small changes you can make to prevent diabetes from developing in the first place and Diabetes Prevention Week is a great time to give ourselves a push to improve our health.”
Anyone who is concerned about their risk of developing diabetes, or who needs help to reduce their risk, should speak to their GP or practice nurse.
Anyone who has already had the blood test and has a letter from the practice confirming they are eligible (this needs to state the latest blood test reading (HbA1c or FPG), AND the date of that reading) can self-refer into the Healthier You programme. They can either call the admin team at on 0333 577 3010 or register online https://preventing-diabetes.co.uk/self-referral/.