Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes is one of 13 new areas in the country to offer the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme to patients identified at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes with the programme, rolling out across BLMK from June. Those referred by their GP to the ‘Healthier You’ programme will get tailored, personalised help to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes including education on healthy eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and bespoke physical activity programmes, all of which have been proven to reduce the risk of developing the disease.
Engagement with the prevention programme in BLMK has been impressive with hundreds of referrals since May. The first prevention courses will run from the first week of July at various venues across the BLMK footprint.
Additionally, BLMK was successful in its bid for additional funding to support diabetes treatment and care across the region. The investment will see change and investment in four key areas:
- increasing the uptake of structured education to help people look after themselves and stay healthy. This can improve glycaemic control and psychosocial wellbeing. Structured education is designed to help both people newly diagnosed with diabetes and people with established diabetes to ensure that they are well informed and know how to look after themselves and stay healthy. The number of places offered will increase from 54,000 to 148,000.
- improving achievement of the NICE recommended treatment targets for controlling blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol. This can reduce the risk of complications such as kidney disease, blindness, limb amputation, strokes and heart attacks.
- reducing the number of amputations by improving access to multi-disciplinary foot care teams in 50 parts of the country.
- reducing lengths of hospital stays by improving access to specialist inpatient access in 60 hospitals across England.