166 people in West Lancashire were referred to their doctor having been identified as being at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, at a Bupa Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow in Ormskirk, and a recent risk assessment event in Skelmersdale, earlier this month.
Diabetes UK worked with NHS West Lancashire to raise awareness of diabetes across the locality and offered free diabetes risk assessment tests to 314 people, over the two events, to identify their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes now and in the next 10 years. 53 per cent of people were referred to their GP for further advice, as their risk of diabetes was moderate to high.
The roadshow also offered advice and encouragement on lifestyle changes, such as adopting a healthy diet low in fat, salt and sugar and taking regular physical activity. Up to 80 per cent of Type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented from these lifestyle changes.
Julie Byron, Diabetes UK North West Regional Manager, said: “Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today. It’s frightening that there are more than 5,800 people in West Lancashire that have Type 2 diabetes but have no idea they do. It is also concerning that there are so many people at risk of the condition.
“Diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition and the number of people living with it is on the rise. The first step to stopping this increase is making people aware of what they can do to prevent Type 2 diabetes. We want to let them know that we are here to support them make the changes they need.”
Helen Vaughan Jones, Director of Corporate Affairs, Bupa UK, said: “We’re pleased that the Diabetes UK roadshow in West Lancashire has helped to educate so many about the risks factors associated with Type 2 diabetes. We strongly believe that prevention is key, so it’s essential to empower people to make the simple lifestyle choices that can have significant health benefits. Bupa’s purpose is to help people lead longer, healthier, happier lives and this roadshow takes us a step closer to achieving this goal.”
Dr Bapi Biswas, local GP and board member for NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The high levels of demand we saw at the West Lancashire Diabetes Awareness Events show just how many people were keen to find out if they were at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. This proactive step forward to addressing their own health is promising and shows how important an element of self care is, in addition to accessing local health services and support.”
Rosie Cooper MP also attended the risk assessment event at the Concourse Shopping Centre in Skelmersdale, she said: “I have relatives who live with diabetes, so I understand how it can be life changing. It was a pleasure to be able to go along to the pop-up shop in Skelmersdale to support the Diabetes UK team so that more people can be helped and supported to identify and manage their condition.”