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Surge in people signing up to life changing diabetes programme in the Midlands

29th September 2020 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in

Over 1,200 people in the Midlands have now self-referred for support online in less than two months to lose weight and prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes through the NHS Healthier You Diabetes Prevention Programme.

Latest figures show that a quarter of people who have self referred through the new online service have come from the Midlands.

The new service was launched in July 2020 as part of a series of measures in response to COVID-19. Recent findings show that people with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of dying with COVID-19 but better management of the condition can help improve control and lead to better outcomes.

NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands is now urging even more people who are at risk to check their risk and sign up.

People can find out if they are eligible to join their local programme by completing the Diabetes UK risk tool at riskscore.diabetes.org.uk. Anyone who is identified as at moderate to high risk of Type 2 diabetes using the Diabetes UK risk tool, can refer themselves to a local service for support remotely or online, without having to go through a healthcare professional.

Professor Azhar Farooqi, Co-Clinical Director for the Midlands Cardiovascular Disease and Respiratory Network and GP at East Leicester Medical Practice, said:

“We are delighted that over 1,200 people have signed up in the Midlands for the NHS Healthier You Programme, but we want to see even more people signing up to the support we have available. It is free and could be life changing.

“The fact that two thirds of our nation are overweight, or obesity coupled with the increased risk of more severe outcomes from coronavirus means that there has never been a better time to lose weight, exercise more and eat more healthily.

“As the first national initiative of its kind in the world, over half a million people have been referred and those with overweight or obesity completing the programme lost on average 3.6kg, in line with the studies that demonstrated reduced onset of Type 2 diabetes.

“Those who qualify will be able to choose how they complete the programme, either by joining group sessions by video link or telephone with an experienced coach or through digital support, which includes online peer support groups and, in some areas, wearable tech.”

Previously, people had to go to their GP or visit a healthcare professional and get a blood test before a referral, but the risk of coronavirus has meant that less people have had face-to-face GP appointments and less people are accessing blood tests.

For more information on diabetes and what you can do to prevent it, visit https://preventing-diabetes.co.uk/

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