National diabetes prevention drive launched
England’s first type 2 prevention drive has been launched in a bid to help 100,000 people, it has been announced.
The first wave of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) will start this year across 27 areas and will be rolled out across the rest of England by 2020.
Those who have been deemed at risk of developing type 2 diabetes will be referred to an education programme where they can learn about healthy eating and exercise.
Attendees will be offered at least 13 education and exercise sessions of one to two hours per session.
‘Preventable health condition’
There are currently 2.6 million people with type 2 diabetes in England with around 200,000 new diagnoses every year.
Not to be confused with type 1 diabetes, which cannot be prevented, type 2 is strongly linked to lifestyle choices and evidence suggests it could be stopped if healthier options are made.
The benefits for patients will show up as hospitalisations prevented, strokes avoided and amputations averted. This programme is a reminder that the ‘H’ in NHS stands for health
One in six of all people in hospital have diabetes, although very often their condition is not the reason they were admitted, their diabetes might mean they need to stay in for longer periods.
Simon Stevens NHS England’s chief executive officer said: “Around 500 people every day find out they’ve got type 2 diabetes – a serious but often preventable health condition.
“By offering targeted support for at-risk individuals, the NHS is now playing our part in the wider campaign against obesity – which is already costing the country more than we spend on the police and fire service combined.
“The benefits for patients will show up as hospitalisations prevented, strokes avoided and amputations averted. This programme is a reminder that the ‘H’ in NHS stands for health.”
Chris Askew, the chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “That people in England identified at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes will be offered personalised support to help them to eat well, become more active and maintain a healthy weight is therefore a significant step in the right direction.
“This will provide them with the best possible chance of reducing their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and living a long full healthier life.”
The Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt said: “Diabetes can have a devastating effect on health – and far too much of the impact of this disease is preventable, so the case for this new initiative is clear.
“This government is determined to allow more people to take control of their own health, and we will be looking closely at the results of this programme.”
‘Personalised, tailored programme’
Last year seven demonstrator sites piloted some of the innovative approaches to the delivery of the programme and the findings will shape the nationwide drive.
Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England (PHE), said: “Type 2 diabetes is one the biggest health challenges of our time and millions of people in England are at risk of developing this serious disease.
“This personalised, tailored programme for people at risk will offer support on improving their lifestyle habits, including getting more exercise, a better balanced diet and losing and keeping off excess weight – helping people to take more control of their health and ultimately prevent them developing what is potentially a life threatening condition.”
The first wave sites were chosen as they already had significant infrastructure in place to support volumes of referrals from the start.