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First wave of NHS diabetes prevention programme national rollout is announced

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Up to 100,000 people in England will be offered places on the world’s first nationwide programme to stop them developing Type 2 diabetes.

Those referred will get personalised support

Healthier You: 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.

Those referred will get tailored, personalised help to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes 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.

Type 1 diabetes can't be prevented

There are currently 2.6 million people with Type 2 diabetes in England with around 200,000 new diagnoses every year. While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes.

One in 6 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.

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

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, said: “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.

“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.”

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 live well for longer.

Chris Askew: "This is a significant step"

Chris Askew, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said: “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. 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.”

Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt said: “Diabetes can have a devastating effect on health – and far too much of the impact of this disease is preventable, so the case for this new initiative is clear.

“This government is determined to allow more people to take control of their own health, and we will be looking closely at the results of this programme.”

In a phased approach 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, at least 16 hours face-to-face or one-to-one in total.

Four providers have been chosen to join the NHS Provider Framework and local health services will work with their chosen provider/s to deliver a service for their area. Healthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is run collaboratively by NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK.

The first wave of sites were chosen as they already had significant infrastructure in place to support volumes of referrals from the start. Three quarters of clinical commissioning groups joined forces with local authorities to bid to become part of the first wave and will now work with providers to develop a service over the next few months.

The NHS DPP was launched in March 2015, initially in seven ‘demonstrator’ sites which have been trialling different models of finding people known to be at high risk and helping them change their lifestyles.

Learning has been taken from these sites to inform the programme.

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