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Health news: world’s first diabetes scheme

PUBLISHED: 09:25 15 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:25 15 November 2016

Herts residents among first involved in diabetes prevention programme

Herts residents among first involved in diabetes prevention programme

AndreyPopov

Herts health news, events and advice from November 2016

World-first diabetes scheme

Herts residents will be among the first to benefit from the world’s first nationwide diabetes prevention programme, rolled out this autumn. The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme aims to identify those that at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, with those referred by their GP getting tailored help to reduce the likelihood of developing the condition, including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and physical activity programmes.

Type 2 diabetes is on the increase in the UK and affects nearly 50,000 people in Hertfordshire but is largely preventable through lifestyle changes. One in 10 adults are thought to be at risk in the county.

Dr Nicola Cowap, diabetes clinical lead at Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group, said, ‘It is important to get people talking about diabetes more if we are to start overcoming a worrying trend. Small changes in lifestyle can make a huge difference to prevention and they do not have to cost anything. Going out for a walk each day is a good start.’

The initiative is led by NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK.

Harpenden £18m leisure plan

Plans are underway for an £18m redevelopment of the Harpenden swimming pool site to create an integrated leisure centre for wet and dry sport activities.

The St Albans City and District Council proposals include more gym stations than at the existing sports centre, a café and potential for a larger learner pool. There are also plans to redevelop the existing sports centre into a new arts and cultural hub. The scheme is expected to be self-funding, with increased income from the larger facility.

The redevelopment forms part of the authority’s strategy to upgrade leisure facilities across the district. It follows the opening of Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre and Cotlandswick Sports Centre and rebuilding Batchwood Golf and Sports Centre after a fire.

Experiencing dementia

Families and carers of dementia sufferers can get to experience the reality of the disease with the help of a mobile ‘virtual dementia tour’.

Housed in a ‘tardis’, the device is the first of its kind in the UK and only the third in the world. It will visit Margaret House residential and dementia care home in Barley near Royston on December 9.

The experience, which simulates the world of a person with mid-stage dementia, was created by a professor in the US as part of a study on increasing empathy in care for those with the disease. There are currently around 15,000 people aged over 65 in Hertfordshire with dementia, a Herts County Council study found.

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