The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme offers high-risk patients tips on healthy eating and exercise and regular meetings to help them achieve goals. Almost one million people have been referred since it launched in 2016 and those who complete the nine-month scheme achieve significant weight loss.
In 2018-19, the intervention cut the number of new diagnoses in England by seven percent and prevented 18,000 cases, according to research by the University of Manchester.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “It is excellent to see the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, recently expanded as part of the NHS long-term plan, has helped 18,000 people avoid Type 2 diabetes, a serious and dangerous condition.”
It’s vital we focus on prevention and provide advice on healthy eating and exercise, as obesity can lead to a number of serious health conditions and is the second biggest cause of cancer in the UK.
“Programmes like this are helping people to live longer, healthier lives as part of our mission to level up the health of the nation and tackle disparities.”
Around 3.9 million people were living with a diagnosis of diabetes in 2019, and 90 per cent of those had Type 2.
There are also thought to be almost one million undiagnosed cases.
The NHS spends around £10billion a year on diabetes care. This is about 10 percent of its entire budget, making the prevention programme highly cost effective.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS national clinical director for diabetes and obesity, said: “The evidence is now clear – the NHS is preventing Type 2 diabetes and is helping thousands of people to lead healthier lives.”
“Summer 2018 saw England become the first country to achieve universal coverage with such a programme.”
“This latest evidence shows that the programme can have a major impact on peoples’ lives.”
The research will be presented this week at the annual Diabetes UK Professional Conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, in London.