diabetes programme

World’s first nationwide type 2 diabetes prevention programme launched in England

by Barbara Hewitt on March 23, 2016

Up to 100,000 people in England are to be offered places on the world’s first nationwide programme to stop them developing type 2 diabetes.

The diabetes prevention programme from NHS England will start this year with a first wave of 27 areas covering 26 million people before covering the whole country by 2020 with an expected 100,000 referrals available each year after.

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People will be identified as being at risk of type 2 diabetes through a blood test done at GP surgeries and will be referred onto the programme aimed at reducing the chances of them developing the condition.

They 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.

According to NHS England around 500 people every day find out they’ve got type 2 diabetes which is often preventable with the right diet and exercise and there are currently 2.6 million with the condition.

“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,” said Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England (PHE), the Government agency for preventing ill health

“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,” he added.

British charity Diabetes UK welcomed the initiative. “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 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,” said chief executive Chris Askew.

Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt said that as diabetes can have a devastating effect on health yet can be preventable made the case for the 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,” he added.

Over nine months patients will be offered at least 13 education and exercise sessions of one to two hours per session, at least 16 hours face to face or one to one in total. They may also be sent to weekly group classes teaching healthy cooking techniques and the importance of eating five fruit and vegetables a day.

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