Learn about the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme this Diabetes Awareness Month

Dr Ian McDermott; GP, GPsi Diabetes and Diabetes Clinical lead for NHS Leeds CCG, explains what healthcare professionals can expect from the new NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) e-learning module and why they should take 30 minutes out of their busy schedules to complete it…

As healthcare professionals, I believe we should take up all the opportunities we can to learn more about the conditions and treatments our patients experience.  I know the wide range of conditions seen and numbers of consultations that a GP completes in an average day in practice.

Whilst we cannot be an expert on everything, I do try to spend the time I can gaining more knowledge on the conditions which are becoming increasingly prevalent in my local population in Leeds. Recently I have completed training on the new NICE guidance on Hypertension, which is of particular relevance to people with diabetes, as well as reviewing the recent cardiovascular outcome trials in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is one condition which continues to be on the rise across the country. There are currently more than 2.8 million people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and a further 750,000 people are believed to be living with the condition undiagnosed. A recent Diabetes UK report warned of a doubling in obesity levels in two decades, with record numbers being treated for Type 2 diabetes.

The condition, is however, largely preventable. And the NHS DPP is a proven way to help those with non-diabetic hyperglycaemia; that is those at high risk of Type 2 diabetes, to reduce their risk and avoid a diagnosis of diabetes.

Launched in 2016, the NHS DPP is an NHS England-funded programme supported in partnership by Public Health England and Diabetes UK. It provides people who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes a programme of tailored, personalised help including advice on healthy eating, physical exercise and managing weight, which together reduces the risk of developing the condition.

Hundreds of thousands of people have already been offered a place on the programme, which is seeing great results in weight loss and reduced risk.

The Royal College of General Practitioners has now launched a new e-module to help healthcare professionals not only learn about non-diabetic hyperglycaemia, but also about the NHS DPP, how it works, who is eligible – and importantly how to make a quality referral.

The free, CPD-accredited module, which takes no more than 30 minutes to complete, provides information on the programme alongside motivational interviewing techniques.

The content of the module has been developed with an aim to make it accessible to all healthcare professionals, and to provide the confidence to make a quality referral into the NHS DPP.

The Diabetes Programme team also wanted to respond to some of the feedback they had received from healthcare professionals who are already referring into the programme but who felt they did not have enough information on how the programme actually works.

Having just completed the module myself, I believe the module meets these aims and I will be encouraging all of the relevant clinical staff within GP Practices in Leeds to complete it too.

The NHS DPP is a fantastic tool to have in our arsenal in the fight against Type 2 diabetes and I urge all healthcare professionals across the country to make the time this Diabetes Awareness Month to complete the module.

Dr Ian McDermott

Ian Qualified in Leeds in 1989 and started work as a GP in Leeds in 1997.

Ian Developed an interest in diabetes and started working for specialist diabetes service in Leeds from 2003.

Ian now works for both for the hospital trust and community trust in a specialist diabetes service role and he is currently Leeds CCG clinical Lead for Diabetes, and before that worked for previous CCGs and PCTs in Leeds since 2003.

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