Organisations involved in the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme are being encouraged to increase attendance to the programme.
The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) was introduced in some parts of England in 2015 to help identify people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Research into the programme’s progress has shown 25,687 referrals have been met, exceeding the target of 24,605. However, out of 20,000 places, only 7,232 places have actually been filled.
The National Institutes of Health Research (NIHR) carried out the study and said despite the lower completion figures, the incidences of diabetes in those who did finish all the sessions were reduced by 88 per cent.
Based on a GP referral, people were asked to attend group sessions where they would receive help on improving their diet and increasing exercise in a bid to reduce their chances of a diabetes diagnosis.
Speaking to the publication Pulse about the new research, co-investigator Professor Kamlesh Khunti, professor of primary care at the University of Leicester and a member of the steering committee of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programmen, said: “The lesson here for the national programme is, we haven’t thought through how we retain people who attend the programme.
“There isn’t much happening in terms of engagement and getting people through, and this is an area of intense research – how can we keep people going on the programme? A lot of this is keeping them engaged through regular feedback, regular texting that sort of thing.
“We may need to tailor our programmes – for example, not everyone wants to come to face-to-face sessions, but once they have been to one face-to-face meeting, maybe they can get online programmes.”
In order to reach out to more people, NHS England is currently exploring an online approach, which will be offered to those who initially turned down attending the course in person.
The programme continues to be carried out across the rest of the country with the expectation by 2020, a total of 100,000 referrals will have been made.
To learn more about preventing type 2 diabetes, weight loss and maintaining stable blood glucose levels, sign up to the Low-Carb Program. This is a free, 10-week structured guide to the low-carb diet which can help improve your health and aid weight loss.

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