Healthy living pharmacies (HLPs) in Durham are set to receive funding for a diabetes prevention role next month, C+D has learned.
The area's 22 HLPs were gearing up to run diabetes risk assessments and signpost patients to additional support from July to December this year, Durham county council's public health pharmacist Claire Jones told C+D on Tuesday (July 2).
Durham is one of the seven pilot sites of NHS England's national diabetes scheme, which aims to "significantly reduce" the four million people predicted to develop type 2 diabetes by 2025.
Ms Jones revealed that HLPs in Durham would initially display resources from Diabetes UK and raise awareness of Durham county council's 'Just beat it!' programme, which aims to reduce the risks of developing type 2 diabetes, in diabetes awareness week (June 14 to 20).
The rollout of this and the longer, five-month trial would help evaluate how successfully pharmacies could support people and whether the initiative should be extended to all pharmacies in 2016, she explained.
“HLPs are ideal sites since staff have already been trained in how to approach people with brief interventions and are already very switched on to promoting public health messages in their communities,” Ms Jones said.
Around the country
In March, NHS England said pharmacists would play an important role in the national diabetes prevention programe. But LPCs in other pilot sites for the programme said they were awaiting more details.
Nigel Hughes, public health specialist at Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire, said the organisation had “been struggling to find any real clarity about the programme so far”. “We are keen to get more details before we commit to anything,” Mr Hughes told C+D.
Kent LPC chief executive officer Mike Keen said he had not been contacted about the national diabetes programme yet. “It would be nice to be involved because it’s a really important subject and any angle on it is very useful,” Mr Keen told C+D. "If we're to treat diabetes, we've got to stop kidding ourselves that when the patients go home, they take them [medicines] as they've been told. This programme is part of the answer to that problem."