Health commissioners support Diabetes Week

Health commissioners in Sefton are supporting national Diabetes Week 2017 (11 June – 17 June) by raising awareness of how living a healthier lifestyle can help prevent the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

In south Sefton the estimated number of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes is 7,616 (6.02 per cent of the population) and in Southport and Formby, 6,338 (6.14 per cent of the population) but evidence exists which shows that many cases of Type 2 diabetes are preventable. People can greatly reduce their risk of developing the condition by eating a healthy diet, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.

Every year, Type 2 diabetes costs the NHS £8.8 billion, which equates to almost 9% of its budget and causes 22,000 early deaths per year and there are currently 5 million people in England at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.If current trends persist, one in three people will be obese by 2034 and one in ten will develop Type 2 diabetes.

To minimise the risk of people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes each year, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are referring those people who are picked up as at risk from a blood test to a new prevention programme.

So far, 665 Sefton residents at greatest risk of developing diabetes have been referred by their doctor to the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) over the last six months. Wave 1 launched in 2016 and in the first year aims to offer up to 20,000 places nationwide to people in the ‘high risk’ category. The NHS DPP will roll out to the whole country by 2020.

Those referred on to the programme get tailored, personalised help to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes, including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical exercise programmes. An estimated 65 per cent of those patients who have completed the programme across England have lost weight.

Roy, age 68, from Bootle was directed to Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) after receiving a letter from his GP. He wanted to attend to try and reduce his risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Roy found the diet, exercise and healthy living advice most useful, he said: “I learned to avoid the biscuit tin and head for the fruit bowl instead. I am also drinking more water and avoiding sugary drinks. I’ve lost about half a stone so far and I plan to continue with it as I’m so pleased with the results.”

The programme is commissioned by NHS England, in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and Diabetes UK and the CCGs in Sefton are part of the first roll out of the programme. In Sefton it is being delivered by Living Well, Taking Control.

Dr Nigel Taylor, diabetes lead at NHS South Sefton CCG said: “We are proud to be involved in the first wave of the programme. The way it works is that people are contacted and offered a referral to the programme if their health check or a blood test taken over the last nine months flags up that they are at risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.”

Dr Doug Callow, diabetes lead at NHS Southport and Formby CCG said: “If you do receive a letter to attend the National Health Check we would urge you to take it up. If you are then referred to the programme it is just a 90 minute session for seven weeks. Once you’ve completed the programme you will receive ongoing support for 12 months and information on local activities to join if you wish.”

You can view some videos of several Sefton patients sharing their stories of the programme on the CCGs YouTube page or on their twitter account throughout the week: @NHSSSCCG

For an overview of the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP), please visit https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/qual-clin-lead/diabetes-prevention/

To find out more about the NHS DPP being delivered by Living Well Taking Control in south Sefton, Southport and Formby see www.lwtcsupport.co.uk

The theme for Diabetes Week this year is: Know Diabetes. Fight Diabetes. While a lot of people have a good understanding of diabetes and how to manage it, many others aren’t getting the right help and support to look after their diabetes.

For more information on how to get involved please visit: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Get_involved/Diabetes-Week/