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Leicester City CCG sees highest patient referrals to innovative diabetes prevention education programme

16th June 2017 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in

More than 1300 patients in Leicester identified at risk of developing type 2 diabetes have benefitted from tailored support through the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP), figures significantly higher than any other clinical commissioning group in the East Midlands.

The programme is delivered in Leicester by Ingeus in partnership with the Leicester Diabetes Centre and managed by Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS England.

Between 1 August 2016 and the beginning of June 2017 a total of 1,313 referrals were made by GPs in Leicester City GP practices onto the diabetes prevention programme. This is a total of 300 more patients than the CCGs June 2017 cumulative target of 1,000.

When a patient visits their GP for a routine blood test, part of the test shows the levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. If this figure is outside a healthy range the result is now flagged on the patient’s record which creates an alert on the GP system, when the patient calls for their blood test results. The GP or Practice Nurse can then offer advice and support about preventing or managing diabetes and if appropriate, refer them to the NHS DPP. Previously at risk patients would only have been identified by the NHS Health Check.

The release of these figures coincides with Diabetes Awareness Week 2017 which began on Sunday 11th June and runs until Sunday 18th June.

The NHS DDP, developed by NHS England, is a programme focussed on helping people identified as being at high risk of developing the condition, to achieve a healthy weight, increase their physical activity and improve their diet. This is achieved through educational workshops on healthy eating, physical exercise and how to lose weight, cooking classes and tailored exercise programmes which people can put into practice at home after the course has finished with over the telephone and on line support from trained professionals. Patients are referred to the programme by their GP Practice.

People are more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if they are over 40 years old, or over 25 in south Asian communities, have close relatives with diabetes, are overweight or are of south Asian, Chinese or African Caribbean origin, even if they were born in the UK.

Leicester City has three education programmes running to provide support for patients at risk of developing diabetes or patients who already have diabetes.

People who are identified as being at risk of developing diabetes can access the NHS DPP through their GP practice.

Patients who have Type 1 diabetes can access the Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating (DAFNE) programme which supports people to manage eating habits and insulin. Referrals are through the patients’ GP practice.

For patients with Type 2 diabetes they can access Spirit Healthcare’s EMPOWER course especially tailored to newly diagnosed patients. Latest figures show that 99% of patients who have used this service have had an extremely positive experience and would recommend it to a friend. Patients are able to refer themselves.

Over the last five years the number of people in Leicester developing diabetes has increased by 26%. Research shows that the reasons behind this include diet and lifestyle choices such as eating unhealthy foods, physical inactivity and cultural behaviours.

Dr Raj Than, GP lead for Diabetes and member of Leicester City CCG, governing body, said: “Many people have type 2 diabetes and don’t realise. This is because symptoms don’t necessarily make the patient feel unwell. This is why detecting people early via routine blood tests rather than waiting for them to have a health check or develop other health problems is so important.

“We are proud of our proactive approach and that we are the highest referrer in the East Midlands to the national prevention education programme, and for smashing our local target but we will continue the drive to identify and help at risk patients understand how they can prevent themselves developing diabetes and if they already have a diagnosis, help them manage their ongoing condition successfully.”

For more information on the NHS DPP programme visit www.england.nhs.uk/ndpp and speak to your GP or practice nurse as to whether it could be a suitable option. Patients can also self refer to the EMPOWER education course visit http://www.empowerllr.co.uk/course-info or for more general diabetes information visit http://bit.ly/2so2jUj

If you are worried that you or a family member may have diabetes please make an appointment at your GP Practice to discuss your concerns.

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