GP referrals to England’s first type 2 diabetes prevention programme are set to start over the next few weeks.
Thousands of patients at risk of the condition will be advised to begin the Healthier You Diabetes Prevention Programme. The NHS England initiative will provide tailored care for up to 100,000 people a year by 2020.
It is being rolled out across 10 sites first – in Leeds, Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Herefordshire, Berkshire, South London, East London and Durham.
Dr Matt Kearney, NHS England’s national clinical director for cardiovascular disease prevention and a GP in Runcorn, said: “Every year we see the progressive rise of overweight and obesity among our patients, with increasing numbers developing type 2 diabetes.
“As a result of this we see more people developing the serious complications of diabetes at an earlier age – heart attacks and strokes, kidney, eye and foot problems, all increasing the risk of early death or major disability in relatively young people.
“GPs and nurses are well aware of the need to take action to reduce the risk. Once up and running we will be able to refer patients on to the programmen, knowing they will be offered intensive professional support to lose weight, improve their diet and increase physical activity – all known to reduce the risk of diabetes.”
By the end of 2016 a total of 27 areas will be using the prevention programmen, which will cover around half of the population. By 2020 it will be available to all patients.
Participants will receive advice on how they can reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes, which will include dietary and lifestyle tips, weight loss help and bespoke exercise programmes.
NHS England said the content of the scheme has been “proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease”.

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