Patients in Buckinghamshire set to benefit from expansion of diabetes prevention programme as NHS England drives forward changes to support people to live healthier lives

Buckinghamshire is one of 13 new areas, now live and ready to offer a leading NHS prevention programme to patients identified at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Wave 2 of the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is part of a wider package of measures to support people with diabetes and those on the cusp of having it, to stay fit, well and prevent further deterioration.

Local people from Buckinghamshire referred on to the programme will get tailored, personalised help to reduce their risk. This will include education on healthy eating and lifestyle choices, reducing weight through bespoke physical exercise programmes and portion control, which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

Dr Stuart Logan, Buckinghamshire CCGs’ Clinical Director for Long Term Conditions, Prevention and Supported Self-care, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to be part of this new initiative and look forward to seeing the positive changes it will bring to the health of people in Bucks.”

“Patients who might be at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes may receive a letter from their GP practice inviting them to join the prevention programme, which will be held at a variety of venues across the county.”

The programme, which is run collaboratively by NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK, was officially launched last year, with the first wave made up of 27 areas and covering 26 million people – almost half of the country. Wave 2 areas will cover another 25% of the population, with an estimated 130,000 referrals and up to 50,000 additional places made available thanks to the expansion.

Early analysis is positive and suggests that just under half of those taking up the programme are men – a much higher proportion than traditional weight loss programmes, while roughly a quarter of people are from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

More funding has also been made available from NHS England to advance the care and treatment of those already diagnosed with diabetes. Within the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and West Berkshire Sustainability Transformation Partnership (STP) area, seven clinical commissioning groups will receive £1.55M between them, from the national pot of money for Diabetes which will be used to:

  • improve the achievement of the NICE recommended treatment targets,
  • improve uptake of structured education,
  • new/expanded multi-disciplinary foot care teams and
  • new/expanded diabetes inpatient specialist nursing teams