Up to 20,000 at risk of developing type 2 diabetes will take part in the first national diabetes prevention programme this year, NHS England has announced.
The scheme, Healthier you: The NHS diabetes prevention programme, will begin in 2016 with a first wave of 27 areas with up to 20,000 places available. This will rollout to the whole country by 2020 with an expected 100,000 referrals available for every year after.
Those referred to the programme will get personalised help to reduce their risk of developing the condition. The scheme will provide education on healthy eating and lifestyle; weight loss advice; and bespoke physical exercise programmes.
‘Around 500 people every day find out they’ve got Type 2 diabetes – a serious but often preventable health condition,’ said Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive officer. '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 27 areas will open their doors to patients in the next few months and throughout 2016. Over nine months, patients will be offered at least 13 education and exercise sessions of one to two hours per session.
The programme has been created to reduce the incidence of diabetes, one of the costliest conditions for the NHS. Over 2.6 million people have the condition in England, while one in six people admitted to hospital have the condition.
'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 therefore a significant step in the right direction,’ said Chris Askew, the chief executive of Diabetes UK. ‘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.’