News

"One in Ten" Public Health Campaign

04/09/2012
Diabetes and Stroke campaign kicks off in Welsh Chemists with support of top rugby coach Robin McBryde
 
A major all Wales Public Health campaign kicks off Mon 3 Sept when all of the 714 community pharmacies across Wales open their doors to offer patients and customers the opportunity to take a test to help predict their risk to two of the country’s biggest health scourges – stroke and diabetes.
In an innovative partnership, community pharmacy contractors and Welsh Government have joined forces with diabetes and stroke charities to deliver “One in Ten”, the campaign that aims to find the ten per cent of people across the country who have an increased risk of getting diabetes or having a stroke.
 
Helping to kick these conditions into touch is Wales rugby assistant coach Robin McBryde who launched the campaign by turning up for his own risk assessment at a Community Pharmacy in Carmarthen.
Robin, 42, who gained 37 caps for Wales as a hooker before coaching the national side, is supporting the campaign because beating diabetes and stroke are causes close to his heart.
“I saw my great friend Ray Gravell lose his life because of the complications of diabetes. Closer to home, my own mother had a stroke this April – although thankfully she has made a great recovery.”
 
 
Robin was welcomed into his pharmacy by Chris James who is also Vice-Chair of Community Pharmacy Wales. Chris measured Robin’s height and weight before taking him through two short questionnaires.
 
“These questionnaires are designed to spot the risk factors in someone’s health and lifestyle. For example, smoking raises your risks of getting a stroke, and being overweight ups your chances of getting diabetes,” says Chris.
 
Unsurprisingly for a sportsman, Robin’s risk of diabetes and stroke is low – he is physically active, does not smoke and eats healthily. His blood pressure is normal, and although being white and over 40 raises his risk of stroke, this risk can be kept in check by healthy lifestyle choices.
 
“Unless you get the balance right in your lifestyle, it could be dangerous for your health to be a Welsh rugby fan,” says Robin, “Over-drinking and fast food eating, not to mention all the stress involved in watching the matches are all contributing factors!
 “But if you want to enjoy years more cheering on Wales, my advice is, get down your local pharmacy and find out what your risks are and how you can improve your chances of a longer and healthier life.”
 
Free risk assessments will be on offer at every single pharmacy in Wales – a total of 714 chemists. The campaign runs for two weeks from Sept 3.
Every year, 11,000 people have a stroke in Wales,. While many make a good recovery, for others a stroke can mean disability and untimely death. “Many strokes can be prevented. Once you know you are at risk, there are plenty of things that you can do to lower your chances of having a stroke, such as changing your diet, giving up smoking and cutting down your drinking,” said Ana Palazon, director of the Stroke Association in Wales.
 
Russell Goodway, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy Wales, said "Community pharmacies are ideally placed to take public health messages to the 50,000 people a day who visit their local pharmacy whether they are well or ill.    
 
We are particularly pleased that by including stroke as well as diabetes in this national public health campaign, it enables the advantages of the community pharmacy network to assist with delivery of Key Actions in the Welsh Government's Programme for Government in 'using health checks to identify health problems earlier', in 'preventing poor health' and in improving outcomes for patients with stroke as a chronic condition."   
 
Community pharmacies are open 6, and often 7, days a week and are located in high streets, villages and town and city centres across Wales. Pharmacies are open and providing NHS services outside the restricted hours of GPs surgeries. 
 
Dai Williams, director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said:
 “There are an estimated 350,000 people in Wales unaware that they run a high risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.  If this campaign can find even a fraction of those people, it will be worthwhile because like stroke, diabetes is heavily related to lifestyle. If you know your risk, you can take steps for a healthier future.”
 
Community Pharmacy Wales, the Welsh Government’s Public Health Wales Unit, Diabetes UK Cymru and  the Stoke Association, along with all   seven Welsh Health Boards have all joined forces to deliver One in Ten. This is the first time that a pharmacy campaign in Wales has focused on two of the main health threats together, stroke and diabetes.
 
In June 2011, in a pharmacy campaign that focused solely on diabetes, 17,500 people were assessed. 8.4 per cent were of high risk of developing the condition and 24 per cent at increased risk.
 
The risk assessments will be offered in pharmacies and take just a few minutes. Depending on the results, people at risk will either be given referral letters to their GPs or advised to mention their status to their doctor. All comers will be given information on how to reduce their risk of stroke and diabetes.
 
People unable to attend their local pharmacy can carry out a diabetes risk assessment online at www.diabetes.org.uk/Riskscore


If you are a Pharmacy Contractor and would like more information and access to resources for this Public Health Campaign please click here.



 
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