27 Nov 2018

It’s World Diabetes Day on 14 November and to mark the occasion health and care organisations across Cheshire and Merseyside are celebrating the success of a flagship NHS diabetes prevention programme which is helping prevent Type 2 diabetes, with over 8,000 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.

Professor Sarah O’Brien, Clinical Chief Accountable Officer at NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group and Cheshire and Merseyside Diabetes lead said, “The national Diabetes Prevention Programme has already had a significant impact on the health of communities across Cheshire and Merseyside.  

“We know that 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 that the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has had so many people taking part in the programme in our region.”

Nationally, 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 making simple lifestyle changes around diet, activity levels and weight management.

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.” Dr Kieran Murphy, Medical Director, NHS England (Cheshire and Merseyside) said, “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 https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk