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Diabetes charity claims officials putting Warrington residents at risk
9:20am Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in News
A DIABETES charity has claimed health officials are putting Warrington residents at risk after statistics revealed the town is one of the worst performing areas in the country for delivering health checks.
The Diabetes UK report found during 2011/12 just 4.5 per cent of the 2,943 eligible people in the area were offered an NHS health check which tests people aged 40 to 74 for risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.
The average for England is 13.9 per cent and charity chiefs said the poor performance has continued into the new financial year with only 197 people being checked between April and June 2012.
Helen Pattie, regional manager for Diabetes UK North West, said it was a ‘tragic failure’ with ‘potentially dire consequences’.
She added: “It means that people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes are missing out on the information and support to make the lifestyle changes that can help prevent it.
“It is also vital that people with the condition are diagnosed as early as possible to reduce their risk of complications and those people in Warrington who missed being diagnosed last year are at increased risk of amputation, blindness, kidney failure and stroke.
“NHS and local authority leaders in the area need to start giving this programme a much higher priority than has previously been the case.“Until this happens, it will be letting down local people who have either undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes or are at high risk of developing the condition.”
The charity estimates around 100 people will have missed the chance to have their type 2 diabetes diagnosed in the last year and is urging people aged 40 to 74 who have not had an NHS health check to contact their GP and ask for one.
A spokesman said: “NHS Warrington is very disappointed in the suboptimal performance with respect to health checks and is currently implementing a new local scheme for the checks with colleagues in general practice.
“We are confident that the revised service, led by the local GPs and public health, will work effectively for Warrington patients and that it will recover our position and enhance uptake.”