Risk assessments should be given to all adults who are not pregnant and aged over 40 for type 2 diabetes, according to latest guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
The watchdog also recommended that people aged 25 and above of South Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or Black African descent, who are at a higher risk, should also be assessed.
People can be assessed at their GP surgery or community pharmacy but they can also perform self assessments online.
NICE also suggested a new organisation should be set up to lead on effective preventative work such as identifying the people most at risk and extensive screening.
The watchdog said clinical groups, academic organisations and charities should set up a “national accreditation body” to set standards in type two diabetes prevention, circulate resources and provide training.
The guidance also suggested that public health commissioners and clinical commissioning groups work together to make sure diabetes prevention is “central to their health improvement strategies”.
Diabetes UK chief executive Baroness Young welcomed the guidance, in particular for its emphasis on the NHS Health Check prevention programme.
However, she expressed concerns that that scheme was not being implemented properly. “We hope that this guidance will spur the NHS across the country to improve the way it delivers the NHS Health Check.”
She added that with public health being transferred to councils under health secretary Andrew Lansley’s plans, “we need to make sure that the progress that has been made does not now fall back”.
“Failure to do so would have grave consequences for the nation’s health”.
There are currently 3 million people with diabetes in England, and the figure is expected to rise to 5 million by 2025.