The NHS Long Term Plan, released in January 2019, has outlined NHS England’s commitment to expand self-management services for individuals with type 2 diabetes through the commissioning of HeLP Diabetes.
HeLP Diabetes is an online self-management support programme and accompanying structured education pathway for adults with type 2 diabetes, which NHS England has licensed and is currently redeveloping for release in early 2020. HeLP was originally developed by a team at University College London (UCL), and provides information about type 2 diabetes and its treatments, offers emotional support, and helps with adopting and maintaining healthy behaviours (e.g. diet, exercise). HeLP offers an alternative means of accessing support alongside more traditional group based structured education programmes, which is intended to increase access to these services.
HeLP Diabetes has a strong evidence base proving its effectiveness. A randomised control trial (RCT), funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) demonstrated modest but significant improvements amongst the group using the HeLP diabetes tool in HbA1c levels. In addition to this, the UCL team also designed an implementation study demonstrating the feasibility of rolling HeLP out at scale.
Details of the implementation process will be published on the NHS England website over the coming few months.