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Families in Newham among first to trial diabetes prevention scheme

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 March 2016

Newham residents willl be among the first in the country to take part in a new diabetes prevention programme. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Images

Newham residents willl be among the first in the country to take part in a new diabetes prevention programme. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Images

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Families at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes will be invited to join a programme to help them to make healthy changes to their lifestyle as part of a new initiative.

Newham residents are among the first in the country chosen to be part of the first stage of the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

The scheme is being led by NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), together with Newham Council, in east London. There are more than 24,500 Newham residents diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes – nearly eight per cent of adults in the borough.

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body can’t produce enough insulin, or when the insulin that is produced doesn’t work properly.

While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable through lifestyle changes.

Nationally, one in six of all people in hospital have diabetes – and while diabetes is often not the reason for their admission, these patients often need a longer stay in hospital and are more likely to be re-admitted.

In Newham, people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes will be referred to the Newham Community Prescription (NCP) programme, due to commence in April, which encourages them to be more physically active and make connections in the community.

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will form part of this wider initiative.

Eligible patients will have the chance to join physical activity classes of their choice, such as Zumba, salsa dancing or Tai Chi, through a prescription from their GP.

All of the classes will be tailored towards the needs, cultures and lifestyles of those taking part and will be provided by local voluntary and community sector groups.

They will also receive tailored information to help them understand the long term complications of developing Type 2 diabetes, which can include heart disease, stroke or kidney disease, as well as advice on how they can make changes to their lifestyle and stay healthy.

Dr Shahzada Khan, clinical lead for diabetes at NHS Newham CCG, said: “We know that high rates of Type 2 diabetes are a big issue in Newham, with over 24,500 people having been diagnosed with the condition and many others at risk of developing it in the future.

“As a GP working in the borough, I know that actively taking steps to reduce your risk of developing diabetes while you can is really important.

“We’re really excited to be a part of this national programme and to have the opportunity to encourage local people to take more control over their own health.

“The Newham Community Prescription programme will help to give people the support and the opportunity they need to make positive changes – whether that’s by being more active, losing weight or achieving their individual health goals.”

Cllr Clive Furness, mayoral advisor for adults and health said: “This is fantastic example of Newham Council working together with Newham CCG to tackle what is a preventable disease.

“Not only are there high numbers of people in Newham currently diagnosed with diabetes but also many at high risk of developing it. Losing weight, regular exercise, and enjoying a healthy diet can reduce this risk.

“Working with the CCG we will be able to tailor personalised help and support for those at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Not only will this ensure our residents will be able to live healthier lives it will also help reduce the pressure on our health services.”

Anne Rainsberry, Regional Director for NHS England (London) said: “Across the capital, there are currently 475,000 peo­ple living with diabetes, with a further 200,000 people estimated to be diagnosed with the condition by 2025.

“It’s great news that Londoners who are at risk will have this opportunity to make positive, healthier changes to their lifestyles through the National Diabetes Prevention Programme.

“It’s also good to see CCGs and local authorities working closely together to make a real difference to local people.”

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