Job centre diabetes test plan

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WIGANERS could be checked for diabetes at the job centre under new proposals being considered by health chiefs.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) says identifying those at high risk means they could be offered care and advice.

People aged 40 to 74 are already supposed to have a general health check, including diabetes risk.

But Diabetes UK said this check was not always taken up.

NICE recommends everyone over 40, except pregnant women, should be checked for the condition.

It also says people aged 25 to 39 of high-risk black and Asian ethnic minority background - who have an increased risk of Type 2 - should also be assessed.

And it suggests that paper-based or online risk assessments, like one drawn up by Diabetes UK, should be available in a wide range of community and workplace settings.

Prof Mike Kelly, director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE, said: “Type 2 diabetes is a very large-scale problem and it is important for people to know that it is preventable, and there are simple steps that can be taken to help reduce the risk of developing the disease.

“This guidance will help people to identify their own personal risk and highlights that by losing weight, being more active and improving their diet, they can delay or prevent Type 2 diabetes.”

Wigan health bosses say they already offer people in job centres access to a health trainer, but would welcome the move.

Dr Kate Ardern, Executive Director of Public Health for the borough, said: “We have worked in partnership with Job Centre Plus locally on a range of programmes to support their customers return to work through helping to address their barriers to employment including possible health barriers.

“We do recognise that long-term unemployment can have a negative impact on health and wellbeing that’s why agencies across the borough are working together to turn this around for the benefit of residents across the borough.

“People accessing Job Centres now have the option to see an NHS Health Trainer who can help support individuals to make positive lifestyle changes. We have also recently provided an opportunity for Job Centre Plus customers to access vocational rehabilitation support.”