A national NHS diabetes prevention programme has been launched by Simon Stevens, NHS England's chief executive, at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference, at the ExCel Centre in London.
The programme, which is a joint initiative between NHS England, and Diabetes UK, aims to prevent up to four million cases of diabetes in England by 2025. The strategy will include initiatives to support weight loss, physical activity, cooking and nutrition, peer support plus telephone and on line support from trained professionals.
Simon Stevens, NHS England's chief executive said: 'It's time for the NHS to start practising what we preach. The NHS already spends an estimated £10 billion a year on potentially avoidable illnesses, and the human toll is more than 100 amputations a week and around 20,000 early deaths every year.
Seven 'demonstrator' sites around England will participate in the first phase of the programme during which they will see more patients, monitor and test their local programmes help co-design and implement the national programme. The sites selected for the pilot include: Birmingham South and Central CCG; Bradford City CCG; Durham County Council; Herefordshire CCG; Medway CCG; Salford CCG; Southwark and Lambeth's councils; and Southwark CCG.
Mr Stevens added: 'For over a decade we've known that obesity prevention cuts diabetes and saves lives. If these results were from a pill we'd doubtless be popping it, but instead this programme succeeds by supporting people to lose weight, exercise and eat better. So today we commit to becoming the most successful country on the planet at implementing this evidence-based national diabetes prevention programme.'
PHE's chief executive Duncan Selbie said: 'Despite Type 2 diabetes being largely preventable, 2.5million people in England already have the disease with another 9.6m at high risk of developing it. Our review of international evidence will soon be published, providing us with the basis for developing this programme and ensuring it provides real results in addressing the growing burden of preventable Type 2 diabetes.'