First 10 sites of Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme ready to make referrals in coming weeks

Thousands of people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes in ten areas will start to benefit from the first ever national NHS diabetes prevention programme in the next few weeks.

The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme launched in April and up to 100,000 people a year will benefit from it by 2020 and after.

The first 10 sites, expected to start taking referrals in the next two to four weeks, will be: Leeds, Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Birmingham, East Midlands, Herefordshire, Berkshire, South London, East London and Durham. Providers of the services have been chosen locally through mini-competitions.

  • Leeds (Ingeus UK Limited)
  • Cumbria (Reed Momenta)
  • Lincolnshire (led by North East Lincs) (ICS Health and Wellbeing)
  • Birmingham (Living Well taking Control (LWTC))
  • East Midlands (SCN led collaboration) (Ingeus UK Limited)
  • Herefordshire (Reed Momenta)
  • Berkshire (Reed Momenta)
  • South London (Southwark led) (Reed Momenta)
  • East London (Newham led) (Reed Momenta)
  • Durham (Living Well taking Control (LWTC))

The largest referrer will be in the East Midlands where they expect to refer around 13,000 during 2016-18. Next largest will be South London referring up to 9,200 followed by Leeds with up to 7,200.

Healthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will initially roll out to 27 areas this year in 2016 covering 26 million people, around half of the population, and making up to 40,000 referrals in 2016.

Implementation will be staggered with the first ten as above and this will roll-out to the whole country by 2020 with an expected 100,000 places on programmes available each year after.

Those referred 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.

There are currently 2.6 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.

One in six of all people in hospital have diabetes – while diabetes is often not the reason for admission, they often need a longer stay in hospital, are more likely to be re admitted and their risk of dying is higher.

Dr Matt Kearney, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and a GP in Runcorn, said: “Every year we see the progressive rise of overweight and obesity among our patients, with increasing numbers developing Type 2 diabetes.

“As a result of this we see more people developing the serious complications of diabetes at an earlier age – heart attacks and strokes, kidney, eye and foot problems, all increasing the risk of early death or major disability in relatively young people.

“GPs and nurses are well aware of the need to take action to reduce the risk. Once up and running we will be able to refer patients on to the programme, knowing they will be offered intensive professional support to lose weight, improve their diet and increase physical activity – all known to reduce the risk of diabetes.”


  1. David says:

    I have been diagnosed as having Pre-diabetes, high risk category, but I live in West London. When will the programme be coming to my area and realistically what types of support should I expect my GP to be offering now to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes? My cardiologist ( I have Hypertension ) recommended referral to a dietician as I am obese but my GP has not acted on this advice. Am I best advised to contact Diabetes UK for help?

  2. Abubakar kassim says:

    I would to be including to the program pls

  3. Dan Hopewell says:

    Given all the rhetoric, about co-producing with and empowering patients, people, communities, one sincerely wonders what the logic of commissioning this programme to a number of huge, national and multi-national outsourcing service providers, instead of locally based community organisations, was. The intention of any such project must surely be to build sustainable local capacity, rather than funding organisations that, by their nature, descend on an area, often with no local links in place, for the duration of a contract, and at the end of it, pack up shop, adding little or nothing to the local infrastructure and creating no real legacy.

  4. Kerry Andrews says:

    will you be launching any programmes in Wales?
    I have lots of patients who would benefit

  5. Don says:

    I am delighted & fully support the initiative. How will current diabetes services particularly in primary care be resourced for the potential numbers of type 2 diabetics who could be identified and requiring medical intervention? I understand that diet & exercise should be the cornerstone, however most involved in this disease recognise that greater and earlier intervention is required to establish good blood glucose control, a critical factor as established in the UKPDS to reduce the serious complication associated with the disease.

  6. Theresa says:

    I would like to be included in the program

    • NHS England says:

      Dear Theresa,
      Thank you for your interest in then programme. As you know the Healthier You:NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has been rolled out to 27 areas in the first year. Currently ten sites are preparing to go live and will be taking referrals imminently.
      The first ten areas are listed above. If you live in one of these areas you will need to see your GP for a simple blood test and a referral on to the programme.
      Kind regards,
      NHS England

  7. Judith Fido says:

    I am interested in the Diabetes Prevention Programme as I have been diagnosed as pre diabetic. Do I have to be referred through my GP? Or can I apply personally?
    Are there any age limits for the programme?

    I would be glad to have your advice.

    • NHS England says:

      Dear Judith,
      If you have been told you are in the high risk category, your GP will be able to refer you onto the programme. If you are 18 years or over and have high blood sugar levels you qualify for the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. Currently ten areas are preparing to go live and will be taking referrals imminently. They are listed above.
      Kind regards,
      NHS England