To mark this year’s World Diabetes Day on 14 November, the NHS in Gloucestershire would like to help local people living with Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes to manage their condition through the range of support options that are available.

Dr Shabari Hosur, Clinical Lead for Prevention of Diabetes at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, explains:

“Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition caused when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, or when the insulin that is produced doesn’t work properly. This means that the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it. If undiagnosed, it can affect eyesight and lead to kidney failure, stroke and other complications.

Type 2 diabetes often affects people over the age of 40 and is associated with poor lifestyles and being overweight.

However, the good news is that it is mostly preventable, and people can help themselves by losing weight and taking more exercise.”

Thanks to the ‘Healthier You’ Diabetes Prevention Programme, over 2,000 Gloucestershire people have been warned about their very real risk of getting type 2 diabetes and given an invaluable opportunity to prevent the disease.

People who are concerned about their blood sugar levels can check their diabetes risk level at www.riskscore.diabetes.org.uk and refer themselves to the programme if a blood test done by their GP surgery confirms their risk level is high.

Participants are given advice on nutrition, exercise and suggested behaviour changes to maintain a healthy weight or become more active, which could stop or delay the onset of the disease.

Another initiative is the NHS Low Calorie Diet programme, which is helping over 180 people with Type 2 diabetes to reduce their medications, lose weight, improve their health and potentially put their diabetes into remission.

Eligible individuals follow this year-long plan, which involves using total diet replacement products such as shakes and soups for three months, whilst also increasing their exercise levels. After the initial period, they receive help and advice to re-introduce ordinary, nutritious food, with support and expert one-to-one healthcare from their own Diabetes Specialist Dietitian.

The NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme is provided by Oviva, which works with the NHS to deliver healthcare services across the UK. The programme is delivered digitally with all appointments happening over phone or video calls, or via secure app messaging.

Ki-Activ is a personalised and guided online programme which helps people to make the most of their lifestyle and the opportunities it holds for their health. Rather than being about sport or exercise, it helps people to find the value of movement in their daily routine.

The programme, which supported 1200 patients to date, involves using technology to measure daily activity, collecting a lifestyle picture. A dedicated mentor will provide guidance and support to suggest adjustments to increase activity levels.

Finally, community diabetes education sessions are recommended for everyone within 12 months of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Refresher sessions are also available for those who have had diabetes longer than 12 months. The community diabetes service is made up of a team of specialist nurses, dietitians and diabetes educators/facilitators who support people to manage their condition to the best of their ability.

 

Additional information:
• Diabetes is one of the fastest growing healthcare issues in the UK and tackling it is one of the biggest health-related challenges of our time.
• Around 90% of cases of diabetes are type 2 (preventable).
• To check your diabetes risk visit the Diabetes UK website: www.riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/start

NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme
Individuals must meet the following eligibility criteria to be referred to the service to ensure the programme is right for them:
• aged 18 – 65 years
• diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within the last six years
• BMI over 27 kg/m2 (or over 25 kg/m2 in people of Black, Asian or minority ethnic origin)
• HbA1c eligibility, most recent value, which must be within 12 months:
o if on diabetes medication, HbA1c 43 – 87 mmol/mol
o if not on diabetes medications, HbA1c 48 – 87 mmol/mol
o in all cases, HbA1c must be 87 mmol/mol or lower
• have attended for monitoring and diabetes review when this was last offered, including retinal screening, and commit to continue attending reviews, even if remission is achieved

Individuals should discuss their individual circumstances with their GP or diabetes team to find out whether the programme is suitable for them. Further information, including patient videos is available at: www.gloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/your-health/diabetes/low-calorie-diet-programme/

Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme
GP surgeries offer the free ‘Healthier You’ programme to patients with a recent blood result in the range of non-diabetic hyperglycaemia, also known as ‘pre-diabetes’. Further information the programme can be found at: www.preventing-diabetes.co.uk

Ki-Activ
This programme is suitable for patients over 18years with the following long-term conditions:
• Pre-diabetes / NDH, hypertension and BMI 30+
• Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and BMI 30+
• COPD
Further information can be found on the KiActiv website.

The Community Diabetes Structured Education Programme
Information about the Community Diabetes Team and self-referral to structured education can be found on the Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust website.