Patients registered with GP surgeries in Gloucestershire will continue to be routinely tested for their risk of type 2 diabetes following the announcement that funding for a national prevention programme in the county will continue for another three years.

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP) Healthier You, targets individuals who have been identified by their GP surgery as having high blood sugar levels. This puts them at the very real risk of developing type 2 diabetes and its associated complications such as heart disease and stroke.

Since the NHS England funded scheme was introduced just over two years ago, nearly 3,500 people in Gloucestershire have been referred, and the scheme now looks set to go from strength to strength as a new provider takes over responsibility for delivering the programme.

ICS Health and Wellbeing, the new provider, is one of five organisations contracted nationally to deliver the programme, and with 21 contracts nationwide, has a wealth of experience in delivering health and wellbeing services that result in long term health benefits.

Samantha Griggs from ICS Health and Wellbeing said:

“ICS are delighted to have been awarded the NDPP contract for Gloucestershire and we are already working closely with the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership to ensure it runs successfully.

We currently deliver 21 NDPP contracts across 83 CCGs and to date, we have received more than 150,000 referrals with over 74,000 people taking up the offer. We are extremely proud of the fact that 97% of participants would recommend our service.

We are very excited to be delivering our enhanced NDPP in Gloucestershire alongside our digital partner Oviva.”

Having high blood sugar levels is a serious health condition which indicates a risk of type 2 diabetes. At this stage, blood sugar levels are higher than normal – without being high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. The good news is that it is reversible if caught in time, and simple lifestyle changes can prevent or delay patients from developing type 2 diabetes.

The NDPP programme comprises group sessions which focus on eating well, moving more and taking charge, to help participants achieve and maintain a healthy weight and become more physically active. This content is covered over 13 group sessions, equating to 25 hours of face-to-face contact time across the NDPP programme.

People at risk of developing type 2 diabetes who are unable to attend the group sessions will be offered the opportunity to use a digital service.

Dr Shabari Hosur, local GP and Clinical Lead for the NDPP at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

“Type 2 diabetes is a chronic medical condition which can have a major impact on people and their families. It affects the entire body and increases the risk of complications, such as susceptibility to heart disease, kidney failure and stroke.

Fortunately, this risk can often be reversed and type 2 diabetes prevented by eating healthier, losing weight and being more physically active.

I really encourage people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to join the programme, which will support them step-by-step through simple lifestyle changes that will help them to change your future.”

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’.

Initially, patients have an over-the-phone assessment with a trained health and wellbeing coach before joining group sessions which provide education about healthy eating and lifestyle choices, advice about reducing weight through exercise and portion control and information about food groups and food labelling.

The changes people make to their lifestyle based on learning about these topics can make huge improvements to their health.

Participants who have recently completed the programme with ICS Health and Wellbeing have said:“It gave me the means to change the way I live, to ensure a healthier me.”

“I have more energy, feel better and have reduced my waistline and weight.”

“I’ve lost a significant amount of weight, which has had a great impact on my happiness and health.”