Prevention programme to start in weeks
Thousands of people at risk of type 2 diabetes will start to benefit from the first ever national NHS diabetes prevention programme across 10 areas in the next few weeks.
The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme was launched in April.
It has been estimated that up to 100,000 people a year will benefit from it by 2020 and after.
The first 10 sites, expected to start taking referrals in the next two to four weeks, will be: Leeds, Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Birmingham, East Midlands, Herefordshire, Berkshire, South London, East London and Durham.
Providers of the services have been chosen locally through mini-competitions and the largest referrer will be in the East Midlands where they expect to refer around 13,000 during 2016-18.
The next largest will be south London referring up to 9,200 followed by Leeds with up to 7,200.
The programme will initially roll out to 27 areas this year in 2016 covering 26 million people, around half of the population, and making up to 40,000 referrals in 2016.
Implementation will be staggered with the first 10 areas as above and this will roll-out to the whole country by 2020 with an expected 100,000 places on programmes available each year after.
Those referred will get tailored, personalised help to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical exercise programmes, all of which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.
Dr Matt Kearney, NHS England’s national clinical director for dardiovasculardisease prevention and a GP in Runcorn, said: “Every year we see the progressive rise of overweight and obesity among our patients, with increasing numbers developing type 2 diabetes.
“As a result of this we see more people developing the serious complications of diabetes at an earlier age – heart attacks and strokes, kidney, eye and foot problems, all increasing the risk of early death or major disability in relatively young people.
“GPs and nurses are well aware of the need to take action to reduce the risk. Once up and running we will be able to refer patients on to the programme, knowing they will be offered intensive professional support to lose weight, improve their diet and increase physical activity – all known to reduce the risk of diabetes.”