Prevention Programme can ease burden of diabetes on NHS

The new NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will help ease the burden on primary care doctors and nurses as it is rolled out across the country over the next few years.

Dr Matt Kearney, National Clinical Advisor to NHS England and Public Health England, says the programme will not only help GPs with their burgeoning workload in treating children and adults with the condition, but it will also provide high quality local services to them to refer high-risk patients into.

He adds in a blog to mark Diabetes Week 2015: “This will provide patients with comprehensive and intensive support to modify their behavioural risks, based on evidence of what works. And the evidence is impressive with a 30 top 60 percent reduction in incidence of diabetes being achieved.

Diabetes Week – 14 to 20 June – will again raise awareness of the condition that places a huge burden on the NHS and currently accounts for around 10 percent of the health service budget.

Around 20,000 people with diabetes die early every year. Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age and is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.

It’s estimated that some four million people are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 2025. If nothing is done, the predicted figure of four million people living with diabetes within the next 10 years will become a reality.

There is a direct association between the growth in Type 2 diabetes and Britain’s expanding waistline, as those who are overweight or obese are at higher risk of developing the condition.

Two thirds of English adults and one third of 11 to 15 year olds are currently overweight or obese.  This figure is set to increase, projections show that 70 per cent of people will be overweight or obese by 2034 and one in ten will develop Type 2 diabetes.

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is a joint commitment from NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK, to deliver at scale, an evidence based lifestyle change programme focused on lowering weight, increasing physical activity and improving the diet of those individuals identified as being at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

It is about supporting people to take control of their own health to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. It’s about prevention.

The singular aim of the programme is to reduce people’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes across England. This will consequently improve the health of the nation whilst at the same time reducing a major financial burden on the system; one which goes beyond managing the condition itself, to the potential treatment of a number of associated conditions such as sight loss, kidney failure and stroke.