NHS Diabetes

Singapore health officials visit UK to find out how to combat surge in type 2 diabetes

by Barbara Hewitt on June 1, 2017

Expertise in preventing and treating type 2 diabetes developed in the UK is to be used to help health officials in Singapore tackle the country’s rising diabetes epidemic.

Senior health officials have been visiting the world renowned Leicester Diabetes Centre and
the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS Scotland as well as NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group and Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.


The aim was to learn more about how to better treat and prevent type 2 diabetes as part of a fact finding tour of the UK to help shape a new public health campaign in Singapore where one in nine people have the condition.

‘It is remarkable that despite a more aged and obese population, the UK has significantly lower diabetes prevalence when compared to Singapore. Singapore’s War on Diabetes provides the impetus for reviewing international best practices, and learning from countries which attained some success in tackling diabetes,’ said a spokesman for Singapore’s Ministry of Health.

The Leicester Diabetes Centre has also worked with Singapore colleagues as part of its integrated diabetes care programme initiative, with healthcare professionals from the country going on a learning placement at the centre from November 2016 to June 2017 to observe the clinical, educational and research activities.

‘The delegation from Singapore are committed to improving the country’s significant diabetes burden. We have shared what we have learned to help them to ensure they have the right strategy in place to both improve care and reduce the number of people with type 2 diabetes,’ said Kamlesh Khunti, professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester.

Melanie Davies, professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester and Honorary Consultant Physician at Leicester’s Hospitals, pointed out that the centre is responsible for a host of pioneering studies and home to DESMOND, a structured type 2 diabetes education programme commissioned more than 90 NHS trusts.

‘We are proud of the reputation we have built up through the work we have done to support the prevention and improved treatment and self-management of type 2 diabetes by furthering knowledge and education. We welcomed the opportunity to share this with international colleagues,’ she added.

The delegation of eight also included the country’s Director of Medical Services, the Senior Manager from the Diabetes Programme Office and a senior diabetes consultant.


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