A new diabetes strategy has resulted in large swathes of GP practices in England being able to refer high-risk patients for personalised treatment.
This tailored assistance now covers over 75% of the English population, and is intended to assist individuals with losing weight in order to help manage the risk of developing diabetes.
This second wave of the ‘Healthier You’ programme was launched last month, expanding the scheme to cover an additional 25% of the population.
As a result of this process, there will be an estimated 130,000 referrals, while 50,000 additional places will be made available as a result of the expansion.
The programme is being run collaboratively by NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) and Diabetes UK.
And it was launched last year covering 27 areas and 26 million people, at the time spanning approximately half of the country.
NHS England has reflected on the excellent progress that has been made so far, with just under 50,000 people being referred in wave one and more than 18,000 on the programme at the end of April.
This considerably exceeded the target of 10,000 referrals that were set out in the NHS Mandate.
The wave 2 sites include Milton Keynes, Oxford, Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.
It is intended by NHS in England for the programme to cover the entirety of England by the end of the next financial year, with capacity for 200,000 referrals and 80,000 people on various schemes.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS England’s national clinical director for diabetes and obesity, suggested that dealing with diabetes must be considered one of the biggest health challenges for England.
“Tackling diabetes is one of the biggest healthcare challenges of our time, as the number of people with type 2 diabetes continues to rise. The NHS, along with its partners, is going to great lengths to help keep those with diabetes healthy. It is crucial that we have an integrated approach to tackling not just the prevention of type 2 diabetes but also the successful management of all forms of diabetes and it is essential that we support the spread of evidence based interventions to help reduce the harm that diabetes can cause.”
It is estimated that more than one in 16 people in the UK has diabetes, while it is known that there are 3.9 million people living with diabetes in the UK.