From 1st August 2019, the Healthier You: Diabetes Prevention Programme will be delivered by a new provider, Ingeus UK, who are working with GPs to help people across the Black Country and West Birmingham reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The programme, which gives advice on dieting, exercise and healthy lifestyle, is being doubled in size over the next few years as part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s renewed focus on prevention.
In the UK, around 22,000 people with diabetes die early every year and five million people in England are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Across the Black Country and West Birmingham, it is estimated that around 120,000 people are living with Type 2 diabetes, which is closely linked to obesity, and there is strong evidence that in many it could be prevented or delayed.
A lack of exercise, poor diet and being overweight are all risk factors for developing the disease. Patients who are ‘at risk’ will be identified by GPs and referred into the programme, which is designed to prevent or delay onset of Type 2 diabetes through a range of personalised lifestyle interventions, including:
Stephen from Dudley is one of thousands of residents to benefit from the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. He is now urging others to check whether they may be at risk of the disease and take action on improving their own health. After eight weeks on the programme, Stephen said, “I feel better and I have more control over my body. My quality of life is improving”.
Dr Ruth Taparro, Clinical Lead for diabetes prevention at Dudley CCG and a practising GP, said: “Diabetes can cause serious long-term health problems, which is why it’s so important to help people to stop the condition from developing.
“As part of the Diabetes Prevention Programme GPs are inviting people they know to be at high risk to enrol for tailored help, which includes education on healthy eating and lifestyle changes, and bespoke physical exercise programmes, all of which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.
So far over 17,000 people across the Black Country and West Birmingham have already been referred onto the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, and national figures show that those who attended most of the healthy living sessions lost an average of 3.4kg each.
If you think you could be at risk contact your GP practice, alternatively you can check to see if you are at risk of type 2 diabetes at diabetes.org.uk/risk.”
Access to the Healthier You programme will be through GP referral, however members of the public can find out if they are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by visiting https://www.diabetes.org.uk/riskscore