Diabetes Testing Under Scrutiny

Isles of Scilly Health Centre

Isles of Scilly Health Centre

A leading UK diabetes charity has criticised the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly PCT for failing to carry out the government’s NHS Health Check programme, which includes testing for the disease.

Diabetes UK says the screening, which should be carried out on all over 40’s and includes checks on blood pressure and cholesterol, wasn’t offered to a single person in the area last year.

And they say this has potentially devastating implications because early diagnosis reduces risk of diabetes-related complications such as amputation, blindness, kidney failure and stroke.

However, Dr John Garman from Scilly’s Health Centre says the figures don’t reflect the true picture here on the islands.

John says the local surgery has been offering their own version of the screen for all over 40s for some time. But it’s not classified as such under the government’s Health Check scheme, so doesn’t get counted.

Fran Clarke from the practice is due to go to Cornwall soon to undertake the training required to operate the equipment for the new checks.

That includes a blood testing system that will give an answer immediately rather than having to send a sample to the mainland.

Dr Garman says any islanders worried about diabetes should contact the surgery for advice or make an appointment to see a doctor.

He says more people with type 2 diabetes are picked up on screening tests, rather than because they have symptoms related to diabetes, which is why these health checks are so important.

And he strongly encouraged people to attend the screening when offered an appointment.