Siemens Healthcare Supports Diabetes Testing In The Community

During Self Care Week, Bradford Beating Diabetes and Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics formed a partnership to provide diabetes testing in the community for the residents of Bradford. The initiative helped identify those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes to ensure the most appropriate advice, care and support to prevent or delay the onset of the condition. Four DCA Vantage® Analysers were used to issue over 90 HbA1c (glycated haemoglobin) tests to participants attending a walk-in service at Girlington Community Centre in Bradford.

During the event, further testing provided by a group of Bradford GP practices was also available to local residents including a dummy aortic aneurysm scanner. Vitalographs were also provided to see if patients needed referral for a spirometry test for COPD, physical pulses were used for referral for an ECG and blood pressure checks to test for hypertension.

Since 2013, more than 12,000 people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes have taken part in the Bradford Beating Diabetes programme, 6000 of whom have received lifestyle advice from their GP or healthcare team. The initiative has also helped those who already have diabetes to manage their condition and prevent serious complications in the future. NHS Bradford City CCG, which created the programme, has been recognised for its innovation and named as one of seven demonstrator sites for the National NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

"Over 1,000 new patients with type 2 diabetes have been identified since the very start of the Bradford Beating Diabetes campaign. Although the prevalence of diabetes in Bradford is around 10%, higher than the UK average, we believe the community demographic means it should be a lot higher," states Anne-Marie Mitchell, Practice Manager at Picton Medical Centre. "This year we wanted to bring testing into the community and Siemens has been pivotal in making this a reality. By providing the analysers, training staff on their use and supporting the team we have been able to give local people who are worried about diabetes near-instant results."

Luke Williams, who took part in a diabetes test, states, "I decided to get a diabetes test out of curiosity and as it was quick and easy. Prior to the test I was not worried, but my results were unexpectedly high which has been a wakeup call. The team was able to give me instant results and point out areas for improvement such as healthy eating tips and exercise advice. As I was not previously worried about diabetes it would not be something I would request a test for at my GP surgery, therefore the accessible walk-in service has been invaluable."  

The DCA Vantage Analysers from Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics use a simple finger prick test to measure the average blood glucose level over 3 months and provide results in six minutes. Following the results, individuals were categorised as either low, moderate or high risk, or diabetic. Residents were also invited to benefit from a range of other tests including blood pressure testing for hypertension, spirometry to check for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in addition to BMI testing. A range of support services were also in situ to provide attendees with lifestyle advice and support.

Steve Carey, Point of Care Product Manager at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics comments, "The DCA Vantage is truly portable, supporting rapid testing in varied environments. During the event a number of high-risk individuals that were previously unaware they were in this category were identified. By identifying those at risk, early intervention can be implemented by practices and ultimately change people's lives by providing advice to support a healthy lifestyle."

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