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A local campaign in Bradford which aims to tackle variables which contribute to the condition and also raise public awareness about diabetes has been hailed as a huge success by local leaders.
The campaign, Bradford Beating Diabetes, was started on 14th November 2013 (World Diabetes Day) by clinical leaders throughout the local area. Bradford had over 7,500 diabetic patients in the city’s area and an additional 5,700 people at risk of developing the most common type of the condition, type 2. In order to stop diabetes becoming an inevitable part of people’s lives, Bradford healthcare professionals joined forces to stop it from happening, and formed the BBD.
The campaign has helped identify over 800 people with the condition in just 12 months- an incredible achievement, and has helped them enrol on an Intensive Lifestyle Change Programme with sessions run by trained BBD Champions. People who were already identified as being at even a moderate or high risk of developing diabetes received letters from local medical practices asking them to book a blood test at their local GP, which looked to show medical professionals and the patients themselves whether they were at a higher risk of becoming or already were diabetic (although they may not have known that themselves) and also offered help, advice and treatment to help keep them well and prevent entirely or delay the onset of diabetes.
Intensive Lifestyle Change Programme sessions were held throughout the city and offered help and advice to people aiding them to change their lifestyle. Sessions were held throughout different times of the week and days to ensure that as many people could fit it in to their daily routine as possible.
In the second phase of the campaign, the aim of BBD is to continue to raise awareness of diabetes and let individuals know how they can slowly reduce their risk of developing the condition through a range of easy, simple lifestyle and health changes.
The campaign itself has been shortlisted for the national healthcare award- the 2014 Primary Care Innovation Award – by the Health Service Journal (HSJ), and has received support from five-time Olympic Gold rowing medallist Sir Steve Redgrave.
Redgrave heralded the campaign as ‘wonderful and potentially life-changing’ adding that it could also set an example for other local healthcare initiatives and organisations to follow and launch their own.
Dr Muhammed Adeel Iqbal is a GP for long-term conditions such as diabetes in Bradford, and said; “We have come a long way in the past 12 months in our battle against diabetes. We have been working hard to prevent as many city patients as we can from developing diabetes, as well as providing dedicated care and advice to those who have the condition and we are now seeing some excellent results. But there is still work to do, and if we have a birthday wish, it is to see the good work continue. We are looking forward to the next 12 months and ensuring the BBD campaign goes from strength to strength.”
A Diabetes UK spokesperson followed up the praise rightly given to the campaign, adding; “The Bradford Beating Diabetes project is an excellent and innovative way of finding the people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and getting them engaged with the local services in order to prevent the onset of the condition. We also know that with earlier diagnosis, people should be able to prevent the long term serious complications associated with Type 2 diabetes.”