The new national programme is due to be launched this spring. It has been announced that the programme aims to help nearly 20,000 people this year and by 2020, it is hoped that there will be 100,000 places available.
At-risk patients will be offered 13 sessions focusing on exercise, education and lifestyle changes. People will be assessed by GPs, who will then identify which patients will benefit most from the programme. The assessment will be carried out through blood-glucose testing and monitoring signs of pre-diabetes.
The programme will be available to over half the country, covering 27 areas and will begin with patients being offered support, such as supervised gym sessions. In England, there are currently 2.6 million people living with type-2 diabetes and nearly 200,000 new diagnoses each year.
Simon Stevens, chief executive at NHS England explained how the programme would reduce hospital admissions and prevent stroke and diabetes-related complications, such as amputations.
Chris Askew, Diabetes UK chief executive said how the programme should prove significant for those at risk of type-2 diabetes. He continued to explain how the programme will provide them with the best chance of reducing their risk of developing the condition and living a long, healthy life.
The programme is set to cost £7 million this year. The budget is being set against the annual spend of £10 billion on diabetes care. Duncan Selbie, chief executive at Public Health England expressed how type-2 diabetes is “one of the biggest health challenges of our time”.
While Dr Maureen Baker, Royal College of GPS welcomed the programme, she warned how the long-term behaviour change will be hard to inspire.