Type 2 diabetes currently affects 2.6 million people in the UK with 200,000 new diagnoses every year. In a bid to tackle this problem, the NHS is launching a new national programme whereby people at risk of type 2 diabetes are to be offered healthy lifestyle support.
It is hoped that this will help people developing the condition. The programme is aimed at helping 20,000 people this year and will be available in 27 areas, covering half of the country. The rest of England will follow by 2020 when there will be 100,000 places available.
While type 1 diabetes is not linked to lifestyle and cannot be prevented, type 2 is often, but not always, brought on by an unhealthy lifestyle.
GPs are being asked to identify their patients who would benefit most from the programme. They will do this by monitoring them for signs of pre-diabetes and blood-glucose testing. The programme will then comprise of 13 sessions focusing on educating people on exercise and lifestyle changes they can make to prevent the onset of the condition.
Dr Chris talks about Diabetes
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said the scheme would reduce hospital admissions, prevent strokes and the complications of diabetes, such as amputations.
Diabetes UK chief executive Chris Askew said the programme should prove significant for many people at risk of diabetes. “This will provide them with the best possible chance of reducing their risk of developing diabetes and living a long full healthier life,” he said.
£10bn is spent annually on diabetes care and the condition has been described as one of the biggest health challenges of our time. The cost of the programme this year will be £7m.
It is hoped that the programme will inspire the much needed change in lifestyle in people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
For further reading about diabetes, click on the link to our earlier article:
If you would like general help and advice about type 2 diabetes please click on the link below to NHS Choices website:
Alternatively, advice and support can be found at Diabetes UK: