Diabetes charity calls for more people in Surrey to be checked for the condition

More people in Surrey need to receive NHS Health Checks, according to a new report from charity Diabetes UK.

The cause said that in Surrey, only 0.3% of people aged 40 to 74 received an NHS Health Check during March to December last year.

The charity was quoting from the ‘NHS Health Checks in Local Authorities’ report.

The report covers the first time period for which local government has had responsibility for the programme, which had previously been run by the NHS. The programme assesses people for risk of Type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions.

Diabetes UK said the uptake of NHS Health Checks in Surrey is significantly less than the 11.25% of people in this age range who it said should be getting the check. The cause stated the latest figure is only a slight improvement on the previous year, when just 0.1% of eligible people received checks in Surrey in nine months.

The NHS Health Check is the first step towards people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes getting the support they need to manage their condition. The charity stated it should also mean a number of people who have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes are likely to be identified earlier than would otherwise have been the case. In Surrey, there are 5,000 people believed to have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.

The charity now wants to see progress in Surrey to ensure that more people can access the check in the future.

Jill Steaton, Diabetes UK’s regional manager for the South-east, said: “The NHS Health Check is one of the best new health initiatives we have seen in recent years.”

She said: “NHS Health Checks have the potential to make a big difference to the health of people in the area because letting people know they are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes is a crucial first step towards making the life-style changes that can help prevent it. “It is also likely to identify people with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes earlier, which means they can start getting the support and healthcare they need to have the best possible chance of a long and healthy life.” Ms Steaton continued: “While it’s positive to see a slight improvement in the uptake of NHS Health Checks since the local authority took over management of the programme from the NHS, there hasn’t been as much improvement as we would have hoped.

“We would really like to hear from the public health team about their plans to improve the uptake of NHS Health Checks over the next 12 months, and to work with them on addressing any challenges they have identified.”

She added: “If you are between 40 and 74 and you haven’t been offered a health check, you are still entitled to receive one, so ask your doctor for a check.”

To find out more about Type 2 diabetes visit: www.diabetes.org.uk/Type-2-diabetes Diabetes UK is the leading UK charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of all people affected by, and at risk of, diabetes.

For more information on all aspects of diabetes and access to Diabetes UK activities and services, visit: www.diabetes.org.uk In the UK, there are around 3.8 million people who have diabetes - 3.2 million living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and around 630,000 more who have Type 2 diabetes but don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed.

The charity said that as many as seven million people are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and if current trends continue, an estimated five million people will have diabetes by 2025.

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly.

If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications.

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age in the UK and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.

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