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Type 2 diabetes screening pilot set for football match

By Editor
6th February 2019
Screening, Type 2 diabetes Type 2 prevention

A team of healthcare professionals from Southampton is using a forthcoming match to raise awareness and test for type 2 diabetes.

Screenings to identify a person’s risk of the condition will be taking place on Saturday, February 9, when Southampton Football Club host Cardiff City at St Mary’s Stadium.

The idea was thought up by Dr Mike Sadler, a clinical non-executive director at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) NHS Foundation Trust and Diabetes Professional Care’s Conference Chair.

If the pilot is successful, we are hopeful this will lay the foundation for potential screening clinics at football grounds across the country to help tackle what is a significant and growing problem

He said: “As far as we’re aware this is the first time screening has been carried out at a football match and it is a chance for people to help their health at the same time as supporting their football team.

If the pilot is successful, we are hopeful this will lay the foundation for potential screening clinics at football grounds across the country to help tackle what is a significant and growing problem.”

Football supporters of all ages and genders from both teams will be offered the opportunity to give a finger prick blood sample to measure their HbA1c levels. If the person’s results show they are at risk of developing the condition they will be given a letter for their GP, along with advice on the next steps.

Dr Mayank Patel, a consultant in diabetes at UHS, will lead the screening team, along with nurses from the Solent NHS Trust. The pilots is being funded by Southampton Hospital Charity and supported by Saints Foundation and the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation.

Dr Patel said: “It is possible to live undiagnosed with type 2 diabetes for months as it does not always cause symptoms but it can cause internal damage, so the earlier it is diagnosed the sooner treatment can begin.

We know that many people may be at risk of developing the condition and a large number do not attend testing when called for by their GP, so this is an innovative approach at trying to tackle some of those who may be at increased risk.”

Testing will take place in a marquee next to the Gasworks Lounge outside the Kingsland Stand at St Mary’s from 12pm.

Photo credit: Richard Boyle

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