The NHS and its partner Diabetes UK are delivering a new programme which provides a low calorie, total diet replacement treatment for people who are living with type 2 diabetes and obesity or overweight: the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme.
The programme, previously referred to as the NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme, is based on research showing that a 3-month specially formulated ‘soup and shake’ diet followed by healthy lifestyle support helped people living with type 2 diabetes and obesity or overweight to lose over 10kg in weight, improve their blood sugar levels, reduce diabetes-related medication and, in almost half of participants, put their type 2 diabetes into remission.
The programme is being offered to eligible people in selected areas and the learning from the programme will help to build knowledge and understanding about the use of interventions such as this and the impact that they might have on the treatment of people living with type 2 diabetes in the future.
How it works
Eligible participants will be offered low calorie, total diet replacement products including soups and shakes consisting of 800 to 900 kilocalories a day for 12 weeks. During this time, participants will replace all normal meals with these products.
Alongside this, participants will receive support and monitoring for 12 months including help to re-introduce food after the initial 12-week period. This support will provide participants with the help and advice they need throughout every stage of the programme.
Participants will also be closely supported by their local GP practice – for example, if medicines need to be changed.
Where the programme is available
The NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme is currently available in 21 areas of England, with different service providers put in place by NHS England to deliver the service:
- Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes
- Birmingham and Solihull (including West Birmingham)
- Black Country
- Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire
- Derby and Derbyshire
- Greater Manchester
- Humber and North Yorkshire
- Kent and Medway
- Lancashire and South Cumbria
- Mid and South Essex
- North Central London
- North East and North Cumbria
- North East London
- Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (including Bassetlaw)
- South West London
- South Yorkshire
- West Yorkshire
From September 2023 the service has also been made available in the following areas of England:
- Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire
- Bucks, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
- Herefordshire and Worcestershire
- Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
- South East London
- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent,
- Surrey Heartlands
Individuals who don’t live in an area where this service is currently being delivered will not be able to access the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme at this time. However, to find out more about services available locally in the meantime, individuals can discuss their individual circumstances with their GP or diabetes team at their next appointment.
Who is eligible and how to access the service
The NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme will not be suitable for everyone and there are some eligibility requirements that people must meet to be involved. These include that individuals must:
- be aged 18 – 65 years,
- have a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes within the last 6 years, and
- have a BMI over 27 kg/m2 (where individuals are from White ethnic groups) or over 25 kg/m2 (where individuals are from Black, Asian and other ethnic groups)
Individuals who live in an area where this service is being delivered can discuss their individual circumstances with their GP or diabetes team at their next appointment to find out whether it is suitable for them.
People who are not eligible for the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme should discuss their individual circumstances and services that are available to them locally with their GP or diabetes team at their next appointment.
Adults living with obesity who also have a diagnosis of diabetes or hypertension or both may be eligible for the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme – a nationally available 12-week online behavioural and lifestyle programme accessed via a smartphone or computer with internet access, following a referral from Primary Care or Community Pharmacy.
The NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme is based on two studies.
The Diabetes UK-funded ‘DiRECT’ trial saw almost half of those who went on a low calorie diet achieve remission of their type 2 diabetes after one year. A quarter of participants achieved a 15kg or more weight loss, and of these, 86% put their type 2 diabetes into remission.
Another trial, called ‘DROPLET’, has demonstrated similar weight loss in people who were living with obesity.
The details of the trials can be found here:
NHS England will not be able to provide any clinical advice, refer people onto the programme or answer individual questions about your eligibility for the programme.
For general enquiries about the programme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
An Advisory Group has been formed to guide the development and implementation of the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme.
- Professor Jonathan Valabhji (Chair), National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity, NHS England
- Dr Chirag Bakhai, GP and Primary Care Advisor to the NHS Diabetes Programme
- Professor Paul Aveyard, Professor of Behavioural Medicine, University of Oxford
- Professor Louisa Ells, Professor of Obesity, Re:Mission study, Leeds Beckett University
- Professor Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health, University of Oxford
- Simon O’Neill, Director of Care and Clinical Intelligence, Diabetes UK
- Dr Elizabeth Robertson, Director of Research, Diabetes UK
- Professor Roy Taylor, Professor of Medicine and Metabolism, Newcastle University
- Professor John Wilding, Professor of Medicine, Department of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine, University of Liverpool
- Dr Tony Willis, GP and Clinical Director for Diabetes for the North West London Integrated Care Board