Tom Brake MP Meets Sir Steve Redgrave to Raise Awareness of Diabetes

October 23, 2006 3:43 PM

Local MP Tom Brake met with Sir Steve Redgrave, Honorary Vice President of Diabetes UK, at the House of Commons on Wednesday 11th October to raise awareness of diabetes and the importance of early detection. The event, organised by Lloydspharmacy, was attended by many other MPs and peers who are concerned about the dramatic increase in diabetes cases.

Currently, one in four people with diabetes in the UK don't know that they have it. Symptoms such as feeling thirsty, tired or passing water excessively are generally not recognised by consumers as warning signs. Yet diabetes is on the increase. There are 2.1 million people in the UK living with Type 2 diabetes, with a further 100,000 people being diagnosed every year. That's 275 new cases every day or 1 every 5 minutes.*

Tom & Steve Redgrave Read Up on DiabetesTom Brake MP commented, "With obesity levels rising across the UK Type 2 diabetes is on the increase. As serious complications can develop if not caught early, it's vital that people get tested for diabetes and get the condition under control as soon as possible. However, people can't always get access to screening services to let them know if they are in the 'at risk' category. That's why it's good to see companies such as Lloydspharmacy offering free diabetes testing at a community level."

The cost of treating diabetes in the UK is £4bn, 5% of the NHS budget, and this is predicted to rise to 10% by 2011, hence the importance of early detection.*

Sir Steve Redgrave is an excellent example of good management of the condition. Initially diagnosed in 1997, Sir Steve went on to win his fifth Olympic gold medal at the Sydney Games. Commenting on diabetes, he said, "When I was originally diagnosed I assumed that my rowing career was over but thanks to proper support and management of the condition, I was able to carry on training and achieve my goals."

Lloydspharmacy has carried out free diabetes tests for three years and in that time has referred over 43,000 people to their GPs because they were deemed to be at high risk of developing the condition. However, this isn't the only service offered by the community pharmacy chain.

As Tom Brake MP learned, Lloydspharmacy has pioneered free blood pressure tests in pharmacy carrying out over 1 million to date. The company has also conducted in excess of 100,000 MURs (Medicines Use Reviews) to ensure consumers are getting the maximum benefit from the medicines they are taking.

Pharmacists were also on hand to discuss the impact of the pharmacy contract for consumers and how they are now able to offer a range of different services designed to improve the health of the nation.

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