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Government set to double NHS diabetes prevention programme

The NHS diabetes prevention programme is set to double in size, after figures show that patients who completed the scheme lost nearly 60,000kg between them.

The boost in size – which will allow the programme to treat 200,000 people annually – forms part of the long-term plan and its focus on prevention.

No exact time scale has been given for the doubling of the scheme, which will happen ‘over the next few years’, according to the Government.

However, from July online versions of the programme, involving wearable technology and apps, will be available for people who find it difficult to attend sessions in person due to work or family commitments.

The scheme, launched in 2016, was designed to delay or stop the onset of diabetes by providing lifestyle interventions such as education on health, advice on weight loss and healthy eating, and physical exercise programmes.

The latest figures have shown the 17,000 people who attended most of the healthy living sessions lost an average of 3.4kg, over one kilogram more than originally predicted and a total of 59,000kg.

Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie said: ‘This is a great start, but with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and six in 10 people overweight or obese the costs to the NHS are unsustainable.

‘That is why we are doubling the size of the programme to help prevent more people from getting this deadly disease.’

NHS England national clinical director of diabetes and obesity Professor Jonathan Valabhji said: ‘Around two thirds of adults and one third of children are now overweight or obese, driving higher and higher rates of Type 2 diabetes that we are now focusing huge efforts to address, as outlined in the NHS long-term plan.

‘I’m delighted that our work so far in this area has been producing really positive results. This weight loss is promising – and we hope to help many more of those who are at risk of Type 2 diabetes to not get it in the first place.’

Diabetes UK senior clinical advisor Pav Kalsi said: ‘With 12.3m people at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes in the UK, the importance of the NHS England’s Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Programme cannot be overstated.

‘These figures show the programme is making a real difference to the lives of people at risk of the condition, and is helping them lose weight to minimise their risk.’

Figures released last year by NHS England reported that patients who completed the flagship diabetes prevention scheme lost an average of 3.3kg, ‘equivalent to nearly 15 double cheeseburgers’.

Readers' comments (7)

  • Cobblers

    So if I may infer from the figures the original prog was for 100,000 people of whom 17,000 attended more or less regularly and who lost on average 3.3kg each.

    So 83,000 did not attend regularly and did not lose any weight.

    Is it just me or do I hear the sound of Health pounds being p1ssed up the wall again.

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  • An excellent use of public funds, based on sound evidence based medicine. Meanwhile my local leisure centre has closed and there are 19 fast food establishments within a 2 mile radius of my house.

    If we gave the 17,000 people who lost weight £250 each, the scheme would cost a smidge over 4M and we can spend the change on something useful like a community swimming pool or ten.

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  • Just put the dole office and betting shop at the top of a long steep hill and watch obesity drop

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  • i am not a dietician so know nothing about dietary advice - just so you are aware.

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  • Still it is a 'discrete' identifiable programme, run by a non-nhs 'consortium' so it may be needing non-execs retired from the civil service to sit on the board, on not at all inflated packages.

    And the evidence for this being effective prevention....

    ...follow up of less than 3 years since the programme started, less still since recruitment started...

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  • Let's not forget the patients with dirty houses, surely we can prescribe cleaners for them. Another good idea would be professional bathers to visit and wash unclean and pungent patients, then what about checking if people are wiping their bottoms properly......

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  • But this is not a prevention programme it doesn't prevent diabetes it just delays it a little.More evedence lite pap, from a talent lite government.

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