It’s World Diabetes Day on 14 November and to mark the occasion health and care organisations across Lancashire and South Cumbria are celebrating the success of a flagship NHS diabetes prevention programme which is helping prevent Type 2 diabetes, with over 7,000 people being referred to the programme.
The national Diabetes Prevention Programme, a partnership between NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK, is a free programme available to people who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The initiative offers tailored, personalised help to support people to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes, including education on lifestyle choices, advice on how to reduce weight through healthier eating and bespoke physical activity programmes.
The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is the first ever nationwide Type 2 diabetes prevention programme and the largest undertaking of its kind in the world for those at risk of the disease.
These figures are being released to further increase awareness of the risk that diabetes poses to people living in the region. It is estimated that nearly 200,000 people are currently at risk of developing type 2 diabetes; which can lead to other serious conditions including strokes, heart disease, limb amputation and early death.
Diabetes and its complications cost over £6 billion every year to treat and one in six patients in hospital has diabetes. Around nine out of 10 people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes which is closely linked to obesity and yet is largely preventable by eating healthily, being more active and losing weight.
Clare Howarth, Head of the North at Diabetes UK said: “There are 12.3 million people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, which can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which are out of people’s control. However, we know that three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by making healthier choices, helping everyone understand their own risk of developing the condition − and how to reduce it − and securing early diagnosis for those at high risk.”
The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is a free local service for those who are at risk of type 2 diabetes. The Programme is designed to stop or delay the onset of the disease through a range of personalised lifestyle interventions, including education on lifestyle choices, advice on how to reduce weight through healthier eating and bespoke physical activity programmes.
Dr Kieran Murphy, Medical Director, NHS England (Lancashire and South Cumbria) said, “Many people are at high risk of pre-diabetes but are probably completely unaware of it. This is because the condition often develops gradually without any warning signs or symptoms.
“We are delighted with the results that we are seeing locally thanks to the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.”
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Lancashire County Council Director for Public Health, said: “Preventing diabetes is a key priority in Lancashire and South Cumbria. Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition which is affecting many people but that is also largely preventable.”
“Organisations are working in partnership across Lancashire and South Cumbria to put people in control of their health by giving them the tools, information and support they need to make changes to their lifestyles that can significantly reduce their risk of the disease and the potential complications associated with it like stroke and kidney failure.”
Dr Murphy added “This world diabetes day we are calling on all of those who are at risk of developing diabetes to speak to their GP practice around taking part in the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.”
“The theme of world diabetes day this year is family, we have evidence that taking part in the diabetes prevention programme can help the entire family become more fit and healthy. You can check to see if you are at risk of type 2 diabetes at diabetes.org.uk/risk.”