Cumbria is ready to tackle Diabetes

People at high risk of Type 2 diabetes in Cumbria will start to benefit from the first ever national NHS diabetes prevention programme in the next few weeks. In Cumbria almost one in eight people are currently at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to an increased risk of health problems, including heart disease, kidney disease and serious eye problems. Cumbria was one of 27 sites selected as part of the new national Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which will provide targeted support to help people avoid the disease. Those referred will get tailored, personalised support to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke exercise programmes, all of which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease. There are currently 2.8 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.

Dr Craig Melrose, Medical Director at NHS England Cumbria and the North East, says: “Type 2 diabetes is a serious but often preventable health condition. “It’s great that we are now able to offer this personalised, tailored programme for people at risk and 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 will reduce the risks of developing the condition and help them live well for longer.”

Healthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is run collaboratively by NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK. It will be rolled out to the 27 areas this year in 2016 covering 26 million people, around half of the population, and making up to 40,000 referrals in 2016. The first wave 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 those successful in this phase will now work with appointed providers to implement a service over the next few months. The NHS DPP was launched in March 2015, initially in seven ‘demonstrator’ sites which have been trialing 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.