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Boots UK launches new in-store service to help millions at risk of Type 2 diabetes

01 January 2013
Feature Healthcare

For the first time in-store, Boots UK pharmacists across the UK can assess a person’s risk of Type 2 diabetes. Boots UK has teamed up with Diabetes UK to offer in-store Type 2 diabetes risk assessments and pharmacists will provide personalised advice on how people can take control of their health and manage their Type 2 diabetes risk. Those found to be at high risk will be referred to their GP to have a diagnostic test.
To mark the launch of the service, Boots UK is also helping those who play a vital role in reducing our nation’s risk every day - lollipop ladies and men - to lower their future risk of Type 2 diabetes.
With the addition of the new service, Boots UK is now able to offer day to day access to expert advice around all aspects of diabetes management on the high street, from reducing a person’s chances of developing diabetes to helping people with diabetes to understand their medication and look after their eye health with Boots Opticians.
Boots UK knows how important it is to have a convenient first port of call within the community for those looking for expert pharmacy face to face advice and support on how to reduce the risk of long-term conditions like diabetes. The service will aim to help the 7 million people who are currently at high risk of developing the condition1 to understand if they are likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and to take positive steps to lower their chances of developing it in the future.
Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “We want as many people as possible to be assessed for risk of Type 2 diabetes so that those who are high risk can get the support they need to prevent it and those who have Type 2 diabetes but do not know it can be diagnosed.
“Having risk assessments available for free in the heart of people’s communities will make it easier for people to access them and so increase the number of people who are aware of whether they are at risk. This is why we are delighted to be working with Boots UK to make risk assessments available in-store.”
The Diabetes Risk Assessment has been developed by the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust in collaboration with Diabetes UK to assess a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the next ten years. Patients answer seven questions related to age, gender, waist circumference, BMI, ethnic background, blood pressure and family history. It uses a points system to identity if a person is at low, increased, moderate, or high risk of developing diabetes. Based on this score, appropriate advice is provided by Boots Pharmacists in the form of lifestyle changes and if necessary a GP referral. The Diabetes Risk Assessment tool is also available online at
A lollipop lady from Bexley who was identified as being susceptible to Type 2 diabetes said: “After taking the test, I found out that I was at moderate risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. It was great that I was able to have a chat with the local Boots UK pharmacist right there so I could start making changes to my lifestyle to stay healthy and keep my risk as low as possible.”

Peter Bainbridge, Director of Pharmacy, Boots UK, said: “Our customers come to our healthcare teams for information and advice on how they can make positive changes to their health. This service meets these needs by raising awareness of the risk factors of Type 2 diabetes and helping not only to identify people who may develop it in the future but, importantly, give them the right support and advice to manage any potential risk.  We want to work with Diabetes UK and other health professions to ensure people are able to be informed and confident about improving their health.”
Some of the risk factors of Type 2 diabetes include: being overweight, high blood pressure, being over 40 years old, a family history of diabetes and being of Black or South Asian origin. There are simple steps that can be taken to lower diabetes risk, from weight loss to dietary and lifestyle changes.


For more information
Please contact the Boots UK Press Office on 020 7025 6657 /
Notes to editors

  1. Diabetes UK (2011). Impaired glucose regulation (IGR) / Non-diabetic hyperglycaemia

(NDH) / Pre-diabetes.
About Boots UK

Boots UK is the leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer in the UK, with close to 2,500 Boots UK stores and nearly 62,000 employees. Boots UK’s purpose is to help customers look and feel better than they ever thought possible.  Customers are at the heart of the Boots business which is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care, be the first choice for pharmacy and healthcare, offer innovative products 'only at Boots' such as the UK’s leading skincare brand No7, all delivered with the great value our customers love. Created over 160 years ago, the Boots brand is still at the heart of the communities it serves.
Boots UK is a member of Alliance Boots, a leading international, pharmacy-led health and beauty group delivering a range of products and services to customers.  Working in close partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists, Alliance Boots is committed to improving health in the local communities it serves and helping its customers and patients to look and feel their best.  Its focus is on growing its two core businesses:  pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution. Alliance Boots has a presence in more than 25* countries and employs over 116,000* people.  Alliance Boots has pharmacy-led health and beauty retail businesses in 11* countries and operates more than 3,330* health and beauty retail stores, of which just over 3,200* have a pharmacy.
* Figures approximate at 31 March 2012, including share of associates and joint ventures.
About Diabetes UK

  1. Diabetes UK is the leading UK charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of all people affected by and at risk of diabetes.  For more information on all aspects of diabetes and access to Diabetes UK activities and services, visit
  2. In the UK, there are around 3.7 million people who have diabetes.  There are 2.9 million people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and around 850,000 more who have Type 2 diabetes but don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed.  As many as 7 million people are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and if current trends continue, an estimated 5 million people will have diabetes by 2025.
  3. Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly.   If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications.  Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age in the UK and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.
  4. People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin.  About 10 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 1.   No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable.  It usually affects children or young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly.  Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses - taken either by injections or via an insulin pump – a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
  5. People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly (known as insulin resistance).  85 to 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2.  They might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk.  They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight.  It starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before they realise they have it. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity.  In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required.
  6. For more information on reporting on diabetes, download our journalists’ guide:


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and around 1,900 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 31 May 2024