West Lancashire patients set to benefit from diabetes prevention programme

West Lancashire patients set to benefit from diabetes prevention programme

Patients in West Lancashire are set to benefit from expansion of the diabetes prevention programme as NHS England drives forward changes to support people to live healthier lives

The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has announced 13 new areas, including West Lancashire, are now live and ready to offer a leading NHS prevention programme to patients identified at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Wave 2 of the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is part of a wider package of measures to support people with diabetes and those on the cusp of it, to stay fit, well and prevent further deterioration

People from West Lancashire referred by their GP on to the programme – which will be delivered locally by Reed Momenta, a national provider of lifestyle and wellbeing programmes – will get tailored, personalised help to reduce their risk. This will include education on healthy eating and lifestyle choices, reducing weight through bespoke physical exercise programmes and portion control, which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

The programme, which is run collaboratively by NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK, was officially launched last year, with the first wave made up of 27 areas and covering 26 million people – almost half of the country. The latest national figures reveal the programme is making good progress, with just under 50,000 people referred in Wave 1 and more than 18,000 on the programme in at the end of April. This exceeds the original target set in the NHS Mandate of 10,000 referrals during 2017/18.

Wave 2 areas will cover another 25% of the population, with an estimated 130,000 referrals and up to 50,000 additional places made available thanks to the expansion. Funding has also been agreed for another 12 months in the 27 sites currently up and running.

The ambition is for the programme to eventually cover the whole of the country and these figures could rise to as many as 200,000 referrals and more than 80,000 people on programmes by 2018/19.

Early analysis is positive and suggests that just under half of those taking up the programme are men – a much higher proportion that traditional weight loss programmes, while roughly a quarter of people are from BAME communities.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England said: “With more than 18,000 people in England having already started our diabetes prevention programme, the NHS is doing its bit but this is a battle we cannot win alone.”

Dr Bapi Biswas, local GP and board member of NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CGG), said:   We know there are thousands of people living with type 2 diabetes in West Lancashire, with many more at risk of developing it.  This is a long term condition that needs to be managed on a daily basis, but it is preventable and this programme focusing on that very important aspect of prevention.  This new investment into this programme is very welcome as it allows us to educate and support local people who are at risk, and encourage them to adjust their lifestyle and live more healthily.” 

Nearly 2.5 million adults and children in England diagnosed with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes will also benefit from around £42 million of national funding which will be used to advance the care and treatment local diabetes patients receive this year.

The cash will directly support regions across England as they begin to implement change and invest in four key areas of treatment and care. The majority of the funding will focus on:

  • increasing the uptake of structured education to help people look after themselves and stay healthy. This can improve glycaemic control and psychosocial wellbeing. Structured education is designed to help those people who have been newly diagnosed with diabetes and ensure that they are well informed and know how to look after themselves and stay healthy. The number of places offered will increase from 54,000 to 148,000.
  • improving achievement of the NICE recommended treatment targets for controlling blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol. This can reduce the risk of complications such as kidney disease and renal failure, limb amputation and stroke and heart attacks.
  • reducing the number of amputations by improving access to multi-disciplinary foot care teams in 50 parts of the country.
  • reducing lengths of hospital stays by improving access to specialist inpatient access in 60 hospitals across England.

At a local level, nine clinical commissioning groups in Lancashire and South Cumbria will receive £1.14m from the national pot of money which will be used for:

  • improving the achievement of the NICE recommended treatment targets
  • improving uptake of structured education
  • new/expanded multi-disciplinary foot care teams
  • new/expanded diabetes inpatient specialist nursing teams.

Andy Curran, Medical Director for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “An important aspect of the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership for Lancashire and South Cumbria is that our health and care services need to work together to support people in our communities to live longer and healthier lives – including those affected by or at risk of diabetes mellitus.

“Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition which is affecting many people but that is also largely preventable. The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will put people in control of their health by giving them the tools, information and support they need to make changes to their lifestyles that can significantly reduce their risk of the disease and the potential complications associated with it like stroke and kidney failure.”