Adaptations to the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme



Publications approval reference: BC0097


  • NHS DPP Providers
  • NHS E&I Regional Teams
  • STP Programme and Clinical Leads

19 March 2020

Dear all

Following the announcement of social distancing recommendations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are writing to set out temporary changes to the delivery of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP).

Recommendations to limit unnecessary social contact mean that group-based face-to-face delivery of the NHS DPP is no longer in line with government advice. As such, we will stop delivering group-based face-to-face services on Friday 20 March.

We have worked with NHS DPP providers to make temporary arrangements for the continued delivery of the programme using fully remote arrangements. While each provider’s remote offer will have subtle differences, all will have no in-person face-to-face contact – for example, using telephone-based coaching. Alongside this we will continue to offer digital services, again without in-person face-to-face contact. This will ensure that all NHS DPP delivery is in line with government advice.

There may be temporary disruption in the flow of sessions to active participants as providers move from a face-to-face to remote delivery model. We will work with providers during this time to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible and to minimise disruption to people participating in the programme.

  • For participants who have already begun group-based face-to-face services, any further in-person sessions will be cancelled from Friday 20 March 2020, and they will move to a remote delivery model, following the same curriculum.
  • Participants who have already begun the digital service will continue as planned.
  • Participants who have not started a programme yet, or who are referred over the coming months, will be offered a remote or digital programme. This will include a phone option for those who are not digitally enabled.
  • For participants who decline remote delivery and express a preference for face-to-face groups, there will be the option of waiting until normal face-to-face delivery is resumed, and they will not be discharged in the interim.

Next steps

  • Providers will communicate details of their revised delivery arrangements with you over the coming days, and we will amend contracts with providers to support these alternative arrangements.
  • Providers will tell participants about the cancellation of in-person sessions and arrangements for establishing new remote sessions. Providers are asked to share communications with site leads.
  • We will monitor service delivery under these new arrangements and provide data to regions and local teams to enable review of delivery.

We will continue to review our position in response to emerging government advice and tell you about changes.

Queries should be directed to

Many thanks for your continued support of the programme.

Yours sincerely

Tom Newbound | Deputy Director – Diabetes | NHS England

Professor Jonathan Valabhji | National Clinical Director – Diabetes and Obesity