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Community pharmacies central to diabetes fight in UK

Risk assessments can help identify people at risk of developing condition
diabetes uk boots risk assessment

Conducting risk assessments in community pharmacies can help to identify significant numbers of people at risk of type 2 diabetes in the UK, according to a new report.

The research, conducted by the University of East Anglia with support from Boots UK and Diabetes UK, analysed the outcomes of patients accessing the Diabetes UK Type 2 risk assessment available in Boots UK stores following its launch in January 2013.

According to the report, which was published online in the journal International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, the risk assessments identified that 29 per cent of people who took part were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next decade.

More than 21,000 risk assessments were carried out between the beginning of January 2013 and the end of September 2013, in 1,513 Boots UK pharmacies. The analysis pooled data from 3,513 of these assessments.

Boots UK director of pharmacy Peter Bainbridge commented on the potential for pharmacies to help tackle the growing burden of diabetes for the NHS.

"The research shows the assessments our pharmacy teams perform on a daily basis play an important role in supporting early detection, so patients can take steps to prevent or take control of the condition sooner,” he said.

“As the prevention and management of long term conditions such as diabetes continues to dominate the public health agenda, this research demonstrates the overall value community pharmacy can offer, providing convenient access to healthcare support and reducing the strain on the NHS."

The importance of accessible diabetes risk assessments was echoed by Dr Richard Brice, chairman of Whitstable Medical Practice.

“All the evidence tells us that the earlier we detect diabetes, the easier and more effective the treatments are. Hence I'm all in favour of easy and accessible, evidence based risk assessment programmes,” he said.

Simon O'Neill, Director of Health Intelligence and Professional Liaison at Diabetes UK, said: “It is great that risk assessments for type 2 diabetes are now available on the high street as it is really important that as many of these people get a risk assessment so that if they are at high risk they can start getting the help they need to reduce their risk, while if they have undiagnosed type 2 they can start getting the support that can help get it under control.

“I would urge people to have their risk assessed if they are overweight, over 40, or over 25 if they are from a South Asian background, or have a close relative with diabetes."

An online version of the diabetes risk assessment is available on Boots' website.

The findings fit neatly with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's plans for bringing pharmacy centre-stage, as outlined in its Now or Never: shaping pharmacy for the future report, published at the end of last year.

Article by
Tara Craig

24th July 2014

From: Marketing, Healthcare

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