A new programme to help those at risk of diabetes has been welcomed.
The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will be rolled out in Lancashire as part of a pilot scheme in 13 areas, and will see residents at risk of developing Type Two diabetes given education and lifestyle coaching, health bosses recently announced.
It comes as an ‘alarming’ number of people in Blackpool have been in recent years diagnosed with the condition, which was estimated to cost the NHS around £10 billion a year.
Research by Diabetes UK shows there are around 20,000 people living with diabetes on the Fylde coast, most of them in Blackpool.
Stephen Ryan, regional manager in the north of England for Diabetes UK welcomed the new scheme, which will see people at risk referred onto it by their GP.
He said: “Every day, around 65 people with diabetes die before their time.
“It is extremely important we invest in preventing Type 2 diabetes and improving care for people who have Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, especially given the prevalence of diabetes in the north of England is higher than the national average.”
Dr Kieran Murphy, the medical director for NHS England Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire, added: “This announcement means that a significant area of the north west will now be able to offer this programme to those at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, which is great news for people living in this area.
“There is already a high level of interest in the programme across Cheshire and Merseyside and extending it across the whole of Lancashire and South Cumbria will give a tremendous boost to efforts to prevent diabetes and address the causes of ill health.”
Those referred will get tailored, personalised help to reduce their personal risk, including education on health eating and lifestyle, help to lose weight and exercise programmes.
Andy Curran, medical director for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “An important aspect of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Lancashire and South Cumbria is that our health and care services need to work together to support people in our communities to live longer and healthier lives – including those at risk of diabetes.”
The announcement came as DESMOND, Lancashire Care Trust’s diabetes team, won the ‘Innovation’ award at the annual Celebrating DESMOND Awards. Time-served nurse Susan Latham was also successful, winning the ‘Educator of the Year’ gong.