Commissioned by NHS England, in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and Diabetes UK, the programme aims to reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes. In Eastern Cheshire, it will be delivered by ICS Health and Wellbeing.
The move recognises that more than 50,000 people have been diagnosed with diabetes across Cheshire and Wirral – with tens of thousands more classed as being at risk of diagnosis. According to Public Health England, there were 18,493 people living with diabetes in the Cheshire East local authority in 2014.
In Eastern Cheshire, there are an estimated 9,213 people, or one in five, with type 2 diabetes.
Those referred on to the programme 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.
The nine-month intervention begins with a one-hour one to one before a series of group sessions. Each individual’s progress will then be reviewed with a health and wellbeing coach every three months.
People can be referred to the programme from a number of sources – including a GP/ practice nurse appointment or NHS Health Check.
Every year, type 2 diabetes costs the NHS £8.8bn, or almost 10 per cent of its budget. It also causes around 22,000 early deaths in England every year.
If current trends persist, 70 per cent of people will be overweight or obese in 20 years’ time and one in 10 of us will develop type 2 diabetes.
However, evidence suggests that many cases of type 2 diabetes, which is largely caused by lifestyle factors, are preventable.
Dr Tom Steele, CCG clinical lead for diabetes and GP with Kenmore Medical Centre, Wilmslow said: “We’re proud to be involved in rolling out the first wave of this important public health programme in Cheshire and Wirral. We look forward to working with ICS Health and Wellbeing to offer a tailored behavioural change programme to benefit local people.”
Jackie Lothian, ICS Health and Wellbeing’s service integration facilitator, said:
“We are delighted to have been chosen to provide lifestyle interventions for the people of Cheshire and Wirral with the aim of helping at-risk people make healthier choices about how they exercise and what they eat.”
Stephen Ryan, Head of Diabetes UK in the North, added: “Every day, around 65 people with diabetes die before their time. It is extremely important we invest in preventing Type 2 diabetes and improving care for people who have Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, especially given the prevalence of diabetes in the North West is higher than the national average.”
To find out more about the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, visit www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/qual-clin-lead/diabetes-prevention/