Gloucestershire has received a boost in the fight against diabetes this week, as one of 13 areas in the country to be announced in the next phase of the rollout of a National Prevention Programme.

NHS Gloucestershire CCG and Gloucestershire County Council will work together to implement the new programme, which will identify people at high risk of developing diabetes.

Those referred by their GP will get tailored, personalised help to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes, including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical exercise programmes, which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

Dr Caroline Bennett, lead for Diabetes at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“By identifying those at greatest risk of developing diabetes and encouraging them to join the programme, we can also support them to reduce their risk of a range of conditions that can be associated with being overweight, having a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.

This is really positive news for Gloucestershire and we look forward to working together with our partners across the NHS, county council and district councils in what will be real example of partnership working to support our local population.”

Cllr Dorcas Binns, Gloucestershire’s Health & Wellbeing Board Chair, said:

“Diabetes is a very serious long term condition, but the good news is that type 2 of the condition is largely preventable through lifestyle changes. This programme is a brilliant opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives by helping them to take more control over their own health.”

Cllr Andrew Gravells, cabinet member for public health at Gloucestershire County Council, said:

“This announcement is great news for the county and another example of what can be achieved when organisations work together. I’d like to thank everyone involved in our successful bid. We know that type 2 diabetes is preventable, and the more people we can help the better.”

Dr Alison Evans, Consultant Diabetologist at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“The increasing number of people being diagnosed with diabetes puts a huge pressure on the NHS. By supporting those at highest risk to live more healthy lives through the Diabetes Prevention Programme, we can ultimately also reduce the number of serious complications associated with the condition such as heart, stroke, kidney, eye and foot problems.”

The programme is supported by Gloucestershire’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), which sets out the county’s ambitions to support people in Gloucestershire to live healthier lives through a greater emphasis on prevention, self-care and community support.

As well, as the national prevention programme, a range of other initiatives have been launched in Gloucestershire to support self-management of the condition, including the on-line education tool for adults with Type 2 diabetes, MapmyDiabetes, and the video awareness project led by young people with Type 1 diabetes, ‘I’m controlling it’.