New healthy lifestyle scheme will help people with diabetes

Patients in the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) area are set to benefit from expansion of diabetes prevention programme as NHS England drives forward changes to support people to live healthier lives.

The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has announced 13 new areas, including Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire STP are now live and ready to offer a leading NHS prevention programme to patients identified at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Wave 2 of the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme  is part of a wider package of measures to support people with diabetes and those on the cusp of it, to stay fit, well and prevent further deterioration.

Local people from the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) area referred on to the programme will get tailored, personalised help to reduce their risk. This will include education on healthy eating and lifestyle choices, reducing weight through bespoke physical exercise programmes and portion control, which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

The programme, which is run collaboratively by NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK, was officially launched last year, with the first wave made up of 27 areas and covering 26 million people – almost half of the country. The latest national figures reveal the programme is making good progress, with just under 50,000 people referred in Wave 1 and more than 18,000 on the programme in at the end of April. This exceeds the original target set in the NHS Mandate of 10,000 referrals during 2017/18.

Wave 2 areas will cover another 25% of the population, with an estimated 130,000 referrals and up to 50,000 additional places made available thanks to the expansion. Funding has also been agreed for another 12 months in the 27 sites currently up and running.

The ambition is for the programme to eventually cover the whole of the country and these figures could rise to as many as 200,000 referrals and more than 80,000 people on programmes by 2018/19.

Early analysis is positive and suggests that just under half of those taking up the programme are men – a much higher proportion that traditional weight loss programmes, while roughly a quarter of people are from BAME communities.

Dr Andrew Girdher, Clinical Lead NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, BSW, said: “Diabetes is a growing problem and potentially a preventable disease through diet, lifestyle and exercise.

“I am delighted that our STP has been chosen to be part of the second wave of the evidence-based NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. This is a free locally delivered 9 month rolling programme to target people who are at risk of developing diabetes.

“Those at risk of developing diabetes now have access to this robust programme. I would strongly encourage anyone who has been invited to attend as this is an important step in helping to prevent diabetes and associated ill health.”

In addition to this new programme for people for people who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, people in B&NES already diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes will also benefit from around £42 million of national funding which will be used to advance the care and treatment that local diabetes patients receive. The cash will directly support regions across England as they begin to implement change and invest in four key areas of treatment and care. The majority of the funding will focus on:

  • increasing the uptake of structured education to help people look after themselves and stay healthy. This can improve glycaemic control and psychosocial wellbeing. Structured education is designed to help those people who have been newly diagnosed with diabetes and ensure that they are well informed and know how to look after themselves and stay healthy. The number of places offered will increase from 54,000 to 148,000.
  • improving achievement of the NICE recommended treatment targets for controlling blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol. This can reduce the risk of complications such as kidney disease and renal failure, limb amputation and stroke and heart attacks.
  • reducing the number of amputations by improving access to multi-disciplinary foot care teams in 50 parts of the country.
  • reducing lengths of hospital stays by improving access to specialist inpatient access in 60 hospitals across England.

Cllr Vic Pritchard, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Health, said: “We are pleased to support these initiatives to help prevent people from developing diabetes in the first place, and to help those who already have diabetes to stay fit and healthy.

“The National Diabetes Prevention Programme will be provided by Reed Momenta, and it is a first for our residents.

“Over 8,000 adults have been diagnosed with diabetes in Bath and North East Somerset, and over 17,000 are thought to be at risk of developing this serious disease, so I look forward to seeing these new services taking shape over the coming months.”

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity, said: “Tackling diabetes is one of the biggest healthcare challenges of our time, as the number of people with Type 2 diabetes continues to rise. The NHS, along with its partners, is going to great lengths to help keep those with diabetes healthy. It is crucial that we have an integrated approach to tackling not just the prevention of Type 2 diabetes but also the successful management of all forms of diabetes and it is essential that we support the spread of evidence based interventions to help reduce the harm that diabetes can cause.”

Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK said: “This is the first time so many local areas will receive new money to help them improve diabetes services. With three million people diagnosed with diabetes in England, it is right that the NHS is helping them avoid complications such as amputations, heart attacks and strokes. Diabetes UK’s partnership with NHS England is helping achieve the improvements people with diabetes need.”

More information:

  • NHS England will be investing £42 million in 2017/18 in proposals from individual CCGs, CCG collaborations and STPs to improve the treatment and care of people with diabetes.
  • £36 million confirmed to the relevant CCGs/STPs, where the national investment committee was satisfied that robust plans are already in place.
  • A further £4 million investment in CCGs/STPs where the panel felt that the proposals had merit but required further work before they could be approved with a particular focus on areas with greatest need as identified through national datasets.
  • A further £2 million to support improvements in areas with significant inequalities in diabetes outcomes.
  • Final funding will be subject to a number of conditions, including all commissioner and provider organisations within a bidding footprint having a financial plan for 2017/18 which is within their allocated financial control total, and each bidding footprint demonstrating satisfactory performance against key metrics as defined by the programme.