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It was a chance meeting earlier this year with Professor Paul French, Clinical Psychologist at Greater Manchester West Mental Health Trust that opened my eyes to the fact that thousands of people with long-term mental illnesses are dying prematurely. We’d both been at a national meeting hosted by NHS England for clinical leads. That one conversation made me realise that we had a solution in Lancashire that could potentially save many lives.
In my role at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals I’ve been lucky enough to have the space to explore how diagnostic testing can revolutionise the patient pathway. Back in 2001, we knew there were high numbers of people from the Gujarati community who weren’t getting a timely diagnosis for diabetes or CVD. The problem was that people from this community just weren’t going to their GP or accessing other health services in a way that would enable them to be picked up, either as being at risk or where they’d already developed the disease.