Good progress for the national diabetes prevention programme
Over 43,000 people were referred to NHS England's national programme to prevent type 2 diabetes between June 2016 and March 2017, which is 16% higher than expected.
A recent report in Diabetes Medicine highlights early progress in the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme which is the world's first nationwide type 2 diabetes prevention programme. The first results from the programme are promising and show that:
- Attendance rates for men, for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, and for individuals from the most deprived areas, suggest that the programme is reaching those who are both at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and who typically access healthcare less effectively.
- Nearly half of those referred on to the programme attended their first session - far more than the 40 % originally planned for.
Further analysis of the programme by NHS England and Public Health England reveals that these encouraging trends have continued - with an additional 70,000 people referred since March 2017. In total there have been more than 110,000 referrals to date, which reflect its growing popularity and credibility among members of the public and the healthcare professionals involved.
In the last 18 months the roll-out has covered three quarters of the country, so that people already identified to be at risk can access support and almost 50,000 people have taken advantage and started an assessment - with at least 5000 people taking up places each month. The aim is to achieve full national coverage next year, with as many as 200,000 people referred and 80,000 on programmes in 2018/19.
Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: "With millions of people at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, it's essential that we do everything we can to prevent it before it develops. That's why the work of the Diabetes Prevention Programme is so important in our fight against the growing diabetes crisis."