GP practices across Northamptonshire are helping more people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes to get the support they need to prevent the condition.

A new automatic referral system is being introduced to practices throughout the county which identifies patients whose blood test results show they are in the high risk category for type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age and is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack and stroke, but it is largely preventable through lifestyle changes.

The new referral system enables GP practice staff to quickly find out which of their adult patients are in particular danger of developing the condition, and then refer them on to the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP). This local education and support service offers practical help for people to lower their chances of getting type 2 diabetes by understanding the risk, becoming more active and improving their diet.

A diabetes project officer has been appointed for the county to support GP practices to implement the new referral system and promote the benefits of the NHS DPP to patients. Since it was launched in the county in July 2016, nearly 3,700 Northamptonshire residents have been referred to the programme for help to lower their risk of type 2 diabetes.

To find out more about Northamptonshire’s new automated type 2 diabetes referral system, please contact Vickie Hallett, lead officer for diabetes prevention, by emailing v.hallett@nhs.net.