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Diabetes Prevention Programme

NHS rolls out national Diabetes Prevention Programme

T2DM accounts for 90% of diabetes cases and is heavily associated with obesity and is largely preventable

NHS England has begun the first phase of the world’s first nationwide programme to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The ‘NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme’ will start this year with a first wave of 27 areas covering 26 million people (half of the population) and making up to 20,000 places available. This will rollout to the whole country by 2020 with an expected 100,000 referrals available each year after.

“Around 500 people every day find out they’ve got Type 2 diabetes – a serious but often preventable health condition,” said Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England. “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.”

Those referred will get tailored, personalised help to reduce their risk of T2DM 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. 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.

  • There are currently 2.6 million people with T2DM in England with around 200,000 new diagnoses every year
  • One in six of all people in hospital have diabetes – while diabetes is often not the reason for admission, they often need a longer stay in hospital, are more likely to be re-admitted and their risk of dying is higher
  • T2DM accounts for 90% of diabetes cases and is heavily associated with obesity and is largely preventable
  • Diabetes costs the NHS almost £10 billion annually – nearly a tenth of our total budget – equating to around £1 million an hour.

Seven demonstrator sites have been testing innovative approaches to programme delivery for the last year and this learning has shaped the final programme to get the best results for patients. The programme launch coincides with PHE’s new national campaign, One You, which encourages people in midlife to take control of their health and make better lifestyle choices – helping them to prevent ill health and help them live well for longer.

“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). “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.”

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