Diabetes drive for city council staff

One of Liverpool’s biggest employers is carrying out life-changing diabetes health checks on its staff.

Hundreds of Liverpool City Council staff are set to benefit from check-ups in the workplace, in an effort to reduce the growing problem.

Latest figures show Type 2 Diabetes is on the increase in Liverpool – with more than 27,000 people in the city affected by the diseases which can lead to serious health problems.

The council’s Public Health team have joined forces with the Liverpool Diabetes Partnership to deliver checks as part of Diabetes Prevention Week, and they proved so popular that they are extending their clinics to reach even more staff within the council’s busiest buildings.

So far, more than 1,500 staff across Cunard Building and Parklands Customer Focus Centre in Speke have been offered the free checks from a visiting team of nurses, with 200 staff taking up the offer. As well as checking blood sugar levels, nurses are offering blood pressure checks and providing health and well being advice.

Type 2 Diabetes is one of the major challenges facing the NHS – it can lead to serious long-term health problems including blindness, kidney failure and loss of a limb. It also increases your risk of heart attack or stroke by up to five times.

Knowing you’re at risk of Type 2 Diabetes means you can be offered the support you need to significantly lower your chances of developing the disease.

This month’s diabetes checks form part of the council’s commitment to providing staff with a range of health and wellbeing support. This includes physical activities, a healthy eating guide, training courses, and other ad-hoc drop in clinics such as blood pressure and flu jab session, which are available to the workforce free of charge.

Further diabetes checks are due to take place in council buildings over the next fortnight.

Jan Fennell-Rutherford, Operations Manager for Liverpool Diabetes Partnership, said:  “We were delighted to be invited in by Liverpool City Council and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from council staff to our visits. What’s even more pleasing is that managers are actively encouraging people to pop to see us, and while we’re testing their blood sugar levels and BP we’re also chatting about lifestyle changes they can be making to stay healthy.

“Type 2 Diabetes is a real concern for the NHS and this early intervention is absolutely essential if we want to bring down the number of people being diagnosed in the months and years to come.”

Sandra Davies, Director of Public Health Liverpool, said: “It’s estimated that over 8 per cent of people in Liverpool may develop Type 2 Diabetes by 2030, unless we do more now to support them to take better care of their health. As one of the city’s major employers it’s vital that we lead the way by offering check-ups for our staff, many of whom are also Liverpool residents.

“A high blood sugar count or high blood pressure can be warning signs of Type 2 Diabetes and knowing you’re at risk can be the wake-up call you need to start living a healthier lifestyle.  Bringing these checks directly to the workplace make it as easy as possible for staff to know their risk levels, and take action.”

Liverpool Waterfront