Health Professions April 2, 2019
Early success: The Diabetes Prevention Programme is proving interventions can boost outcomes

By News Feature - Accountable Care Journal

New figures show the Diabetes Prevention Programme (DPP) has so far been a success as the 17,000 people who attended most of the healthy living sessions lost an average of 3.4kg, over one kilogram more than originally predicted.

The programme, which gives advice on dieting, exercise and healthy lifestyle, is being doubled in size over the next few years to treat around 200,000 people annually as part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s renewed focus on prevention.

Diabetes and its complications cost over £10 billion every year to treat and one in six patients in hospital has diabetes. Around nine out of 10 people with diabetes have Type 2, which is closely linked to obesity, and there is strong evidence that in many it is preventable.

With 12.3 million people at 'increased risk' of Type 2 diabetes in the UK, according to Pav Kalsi, senior clinical advisor at Diabetes UK, the success of prevention programmes such as this cannot be understated.

Several providers have been appointed to scale up and roll out the service, including; Reed Momenta, ICS Health and Wellbeing, WW (formerly Weight Watchers), Ingeus, and Living Well Taking Control. Meanwhile, the providers for the online programme are OurPath, Oviva, WW (formerly Weight Watchers), Changing Health and Liva Healthcare.

The national clinical director of diabetes and obesity at NHS England, Professor Jonathan Valabhji, commended the results. One recipient, Harry Matharu, who was diagnosed as a pre-diabetic by his GP at age 56 reported a loss of 3 stones in weight after beginning the programme, claiming the programme "changed my life."

Recent projections show that the growing number of people with diabetes could result in nearly 39,000 people living with diabetes suffering a heart attack in 2035 and over 50,000 people suffering a stroke. The Department of Health and Social Care has labelled this as "hard proof" that "people with diabetes change their lives" and supported the programme.

Digital innovations are expected to be introduced over the coming year to further support this progress.