Free check can help curb rise in amputations

By on 15/07/2015 in Cllr Hamilton, News

Health chiefs today urged Brummies to book a FREE NHS Health Check is a bid to curb an alarming rise in diabetes-related amputations

The call came as NHS figures revealed that the number of diabetes-related amputations each week in England has now reached an all-time record high of 135.

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of amputation of the lower limbs throughout the world and the NHS reports that people who have diabetes are 15 times more likely to undergo amputations than other people without the condition.

Many of those amputations could be avoided if:

  • More people made healthy changes to their lifestyle – reducing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
  • People with Type 2 diabetes were diagnosed earlier – reducing the rates of devastating health complications associated with the condition.

And that’s where NHS Health Checks can play a vital role.

Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, Cllr Paulette Hamilton,  said: “Too many people still think of diabetes as a relatively mild condition that can be easily managed. But as today’s report shows, it can lead to devastating complications including, tragically in a growing number of cases, amputation.

“But, while diabetes can be an extremely life-limiting condition, you can dramatically reduce your risk of developing the most common form (Type 2) by making positive changes to your lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy weight through a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly are ways of preventing type 2 diabetes and managing the condition.

“And if you’re aged between 40 and 74, the first step towards minimising that risk is to speak to your GP about a free NHS health check.”

Director of Public Health, Dr Adrian Phillips, added: “Prevention is vital if we’re going to improve the health of people across this city and, thanks to NHS Health Checks, thousands of people in Birmingham have been offered practical advice to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, stroke and other conditions.

“We have a proud record in delivering NHS Health Checks in Birmingham but there are still many eligible people who have not yet taken up the offer and my advice to them would be to speak to their GP as soon as possible.”

  • It is estimated that Health Checks could prevent 4,000 people a year from developing diabetes, if fully implemented.
  • Health Checks can also help to identify those who are unaware that they have diabetes, and so enable them to get access to care and treatment to reduce their risk of life threatening complications.

The NHS Health Check, available for 40 -74 year olds, is an important step for many people towards improving their health and wellbeing. Through relatively simple lifestyle changes, like healthy eating and being more physically active, people can lower their risk of developing serious, but preventable conditions such as; heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and dementia.

Over 69,000 Birmingham people have attended an NHS Health Check since 2013, with  figures published by Public Health England (PHE) last month showing that more people in Birmingham are taking up the offer of the free MOT than in most other parts of the country.

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