A NEW partnership in Worcestershire is set to offer individuals who are at risk of type 2 diabetes help and support to reduce the likelihood of them developing the condition.

The three Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups (NHS South Worcestershire, NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove and NHS Wyre Forest CCGs) along with Worcestershire County Council and have partnered with Pulse Healthcare to launch the new Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme across the county.

In Worcestershire, people recruited onto the new programme tackling type 2 diabetes will benefit from Pulse Healthcare’s services to help them make healthier lifestyle choices and improve their health.

The programme focuses on encouraging people to:

• Lower their weight

• Increase their amount of physical activity

• Improve their diet

Dr Nikki Burger, lead GP for the programme in Worcestershire, said: “Tackling type 2 diabetes is a big priority area for CCGs in Worcestershire. Like most areas of the country we are seeing an increase in new diagnoses driven by a number of lifestyle factors and we need to do all we can to reverse this trend.

“We’re proud to be rolling out this important public health programme and we look forward to working with Pulse Healthcare to help at risk people make healthier choices about how they exercise and what they eat.”

Dr Kiran Patel, medical director at NHS England (West Midlands), said: “Obesity and lifestyle-related issues have taken their toll on people’s health. Also, the complications of diabetes cost society and the NHS £8.8bn a year.

“This programme will get advice and practical help to a group of people who can drastically reduce their risk of developing the condition and associated complications, including amputation and blindness.”

There are currently five million people in England at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In Worcestershire there are at least 18,000 people identified as at risk with a further 50,000 people at risk but unaware they are.

The growth in levels of obesity and lack of enough physical activity are key factors increasing risk of type 2 diabetes. However, evidence exists which shows that many cases of type 2 diabetes are preventable.

Type 2 diabetes is largely caused by lifestyle factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise and being overweight. Pulse Healthcare Ltd will be providing intensive support to people recruited on to the programme to help them make healthier lifestyle choices and reduce their risk of developing the condition.

The recently launched national programme has already been piloted in seven areas. The programme will now roll-out across England in 27 further sites and is set to go live in Worcestershire in September 2016.

Led jointly by NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK, the ‘Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme’ aims to reduce the incidence of type 2 Diabetes.

To find out more about the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention programme, visit https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/qual-clin-lead/diabetes-prevention/