Diabetes prevention programme pioneered in Medway

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Medway Matters

A specialist nurse, a new website and an intensive lifestyle programme will target people at risk of diabetes as part of a new drive against the disease.

Medway is one of seven areas in the country to be part of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP) which aims to identify people likely to get diabetes and offer them help.

Medway Council and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group are working together to deliver the new programme and will  recruit a specialist nurse who will audit GP records and contact people identified as high risk of type 2 diabetes.

A new website – medwaydiabetes.co.uk – will also be launched where people will be able to discover if they are at risk by answering some simple questions.

Those identified at risk will be encouraged to join a new and free group programme called Let’s Talk Weight.

It will involve 12 weekly sessions, with follow up sessions at 6, 12 and 18 months where specially trained staff will provide education and support for people to become more active, eat healthily, understand food labels, set achievable weight loss goals and receive support from other group members.

Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Services, said: “Medway, like other parts of the country, has an increasing number of people being diagnosed with diabetes and the latest figures we have show that 14,065 people here have been diagnosed with diabetes.

“The strain on the NHS to treat diabetes is enormous at an estimated cost of £10billion per year.

“Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable and our new programme should ensure that not only do we reach those people at risk and get them the help they need to prevent diabetes happening, but also reduce the burden on the NHS in the long run.”

Dr Jim O’Brien, National Programme Director, NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, Public Health England,  said: “The launch of Medway’s Diabetes Prevention Programme is good news for the local community in helping to tackle this serious condition.

“Along with our six other demonstrator sites across England, Medway’s local initiative will be hugely valuable in providing us with evidence on what works to prevent type 2 diabetes. This will help us design and roll out the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.”

World Diabetes Day takes place on 14 November and famous landmarks across the UK, including Rochester Castle, will be turned blue to highlight the cause.

Medway Clinical Commissioning Group and Medway Council has been working in partnership as one of seven ‘demonstrator’ sites in the UK and received funding of £200,000 from NHS England for the project.

There are an estimated 3.2 million people in England with diabetes.

A further four to five million people in England are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes, and by 2030 it is estimated that more than four million people in England will have diabetes.

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