‘Participants’ mind-set has boosted prevention’
Impressive results from a prevention scheme in Durham are down to the mind-set of the participants, according to a local health practitioner.
Kayleigh Eckersley-Morris from County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said the Just Beat It programme has helped prevent hundreds of people from developing type 2 diabetes in the area.
She said: “It’s about the individual taking control of their life and what they can do for themselves. The sooner they realise that, the sooner they can adapt to it for the future.
“It’s not just about food but about the whole mind-set of the individual. We need to change the way they think psychologically to get results.”
The team, which works in partnership with Durham’s two Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and the Council, see up to 65 regular people a week across Durham and the surrounding areas.
As part of the package they deliver education around lifestyle intervention and host exercise classes.
They also do initial consultations for new clients who have been identified as being at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and the newly diagnosed.
Kayleigh said: “One of the most important sessions we do is about the health implications of type 2 diabetes. It’s the shock factor to make them realise the reality and the impact it can have on them. A lot of them do not realise the complications. It’s a shock.”
The scheme is one of seven demonstrator sites for the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme which will roll out nationally next year.
Kayleigh said some of the people they have seen have unveiled some “incredible” results including one man who lost two stone in 20 weeks and another who recovered from a stroke and can now run.
We are all trained to make sure people can push themselves a little bit further and we do that for each individual
“We explain to people very early on that it’s their own high intensity no-one else’s. We don’t want it to be daunting. We explain to them how it’s done and it puts them at ease.
“We have people with strokes and others who are very overweight and every person takes it at their own pace so there are ways to adapt each exercise. They find they really improve and the results we’ve seen have been absolutely fantastic. But we focus on the practical and for people to be able to bend over and pick things up by squatting or to climb the stairs more easily is a big step.
“People think if they have bad knees or are older then they can’t do the exercises but that’s not true. As long as people don’t have pre-existing conditions and take it gently they can do it. We are all trained to make sure people can push themselves a little bit further and we do that for each individual.”
The programme takes GP or self-referrals from people at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and offers them a two year course of help and support.
Around 50,000 people in the Durham area are estimated to be at high risk or very high risk of developing diabetes and could benefit from the scheme.
In the first eight months of the programme 201 people at high risk were referred from the NHS Health Check programme. So far 42 people have completed the first six months, and 110 are currently enrolled in groups of up to 12.
The NHS DPP is a joint initiative between NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) and Diabetes UK, and aims to significantly reduce the four million people in England otherwise expected to have type 2 diabetes by 2025.