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Additional health advice on hand at vaccination clinics

People attending COVID-19 vaccination clinics are being urged to take the opportunity to speak with health professionals who’ll be on hand offering advice and guidance on preventing Type 2 diabetes and highlighting the importance of cervical screening.

Over the coming weeks representatives from the Suffolk GP Federation will be present at a number of vaccination clinics, offering useful advice and encouraging people to take up the offer of cervical screening when invited.

Also known as a ‘smear test’, the process tests the health of the cervix, which is the opening of the womb to the vagina, with the aim of preventing cancer.

Those aged 25 to 64 years are invited to attend every three or five years depending on their age, and these information sessions are a good opportunity to ask questions, address any concerns and book a test if it is appropriate.

With an estimated 93,000 people aged 16 + across Suffolk and north east Essex at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, health professionals are also taking the opportunity to raise awareness of the National Diabetes Prevention Programme, which aims to stimulate healthier living and prevent people developing the condition.

Type 2 diabetes is a major contributor to heart attack, kidney and stroke, but by losing weight, moving more and eating healthily the chances of developing the condition are lessened.

Health care professionals will be offering advice and support at the following locations:

Wednesday October 27 – Gainsborough Centre, Ipswich 12 noon to 5 p.m. – National Diabetes Prevention Programme

Thursday October 28 – Riverwalk, Bury St Edmunds 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Cervical Screening

Tuesday November 2 – Gainsborough Centre, Ipswich 9 a.m. to 12 noon – Cervical Screening

Lucy Ainsley, Cervical Screening Project Coordinator, said: “Our aim is to increase the uptake of cervical screening within Suffolk. We have identified a number of hard-to-reach groups and have found a number of challenges that we are now working towards addressing. These challenges include working with those patients with language barriers, patients with learning disabilities needing support to engage, cultural issues, survivors of abuse, reaching patients in areas of deprivation, and patients who are genuinely anxious about attending for a screen, and those patients in the LGBTQ+ community, we support everyone to have equal access to cervical screening.”

Dr David Egan, GP and Diabetes Lead for the NHS Ipswich & East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I would encourage everyone at risk of diabetes to assess their risk as diabetes can lead to kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, sight loss and amputations. It also makes it more difficult for people to fight serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease and viruses such as COVID-19 and flu.”

Visit the local website for trusted information on COVID-19 vaccination at www.sneevaccine.org.uk
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