Diabetes self-check services proving successful
A rise of hundreds of thousands of people has been seen in those accessing NHS self-check services for diabetes in the wake of studies revealing a higher risk of mortality for those with Type 2 diabetes from COVID-19 infections. Almost 300,000 people have accessed a tool which has had its access widened to the public which helps individuals to calculate their risk of being diagnosed with the condition. The latest statistics display that 291, 325 people used the Diabetes UK Know Your Risk tool since the end of July, a 637% surge compared to two months previously.
A marked emphasis has been made on prevention of diabetes through exercise and healthier lifestyles since studies demonstrated that Type 2 diabetes sufferers are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than others not living with the illness. Weight loss services have seen a rise in demand from the public with over 5,000 people now having self-referred for support to lose weight and prevent the onset of Type 2. The programme has capacity to support 5,000 people every week.
The programme’s access was expanded and fast-tracked by the NHS in order to facilitate the ongoing demand since the pandemic’s beginning and the Government’s strategy of encouraging people to live healthier and take all necessary steps to prevent themselves acquiring Type 2 diabetes alongside a coronavirus infection. The NHS is now urging more people to sign up to the programme if they calculate a higher risk of themselves developing diabetes. If their score comes back as adequately high, they can refer themselves to a local service for support remotely or online, without having to go through a healthcare professional.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity said: “The fact that two thirds of our nation live with being overweight or obese coupled with the increased risk of more severe outcomes from coronavirus means that there has never been a better time to lose weight, exercise more and eat more healthily.”
The Type 2 diabetes tool can be accessed here.