Pharmacy staff can help to identify patients at risk of diabetic complications by using an innovative blood glucose monitor, which measures HbA1c levels.
Team members at Medicare Pharmacy in Spinney Hill, Leicester received training on how to use the A1CNow diagnostic kit, which measures a patient’s long-term average blood glucose (HbA1c) levels and is considered to provide a more accurate indication of blood glucose control than standard monitors.
Of the 32 customers identified as being at high risk of diabetes complications, 12 (more than one in three) were found to have high HbA1c levels and were referred to their GP for further investigation, while all patients received lifestyle tips on lowering their risk.
Yashvant Lodhia, director of the pharmacy, said: “We felt that this pilot proved to be a really useful exercise in community pharmacy healthcare and we hope to introduce this as a permanent service. Diabetes is one of the main health issues of our generation, certainly within the Asian community, and we know that regular monitoring of HbA1c blood glucose levels is essential both for detection and effective treatment of the disease.
"The A1CNow test allows us, for the first time, to monitor HbA1c to clinical levels in a public setting. We would certainly recommend that other pharmacies consider doing the same."