Patients in the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) area are set to benefit from expansion of 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 Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire STP 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.

Local people from the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) area referred on to the programme 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.

 

Dr Andrew Girdher, Clinical Lead NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, BSW, said: “Diabetes is a growing problem and potentially a preventable disease through diet, lifestyle and exercise. 

“I am delighted that our STP has been chosen to be part of the second wave of the evidence-based NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. This is a free locally delivered 9 month rolling programme to target people who are at risk of developing diabetes.

“Those at risk of developing diabetes now have access to this robust programme. I would strongly encourage anyone who has been invited to attend as this is an important step in helping to prevent diabetes and associated ill health.”

Cllr Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults’ Health and Social Care, said: “More than 12,000 people in Swindon are diabetic and a further 18,000 are estimated to be at higher risk of developing the condition.

“Swindon is fortunate to be part of the second wave of the evidence-based NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which has been designed to help people who are at risk of developing diabetes.

 

“The service is provided by Reed Momenta locally and I would encourage anyone who has been invited to take part in the programme by their doctors to do so as it is an important step in helping to prevent diabetes and associated ill health.”