National diabetes prevention initiative launched

NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK have joined forces in a national diabetes prevention drive

A national drive has been launched to prevent millions of cases of type 2 diabetes.

NHS England chief excecutive Simon Stevens announced the National Diabetes Prevention Programme in a speech at the Diabetes UK conference in London.

The joint initiative between NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) and Diabetes UK builds on commitments set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View and PHE’s Evidence into Action.

It aims to prevent a significant number of the four million diagnoses of type 2 diabetes in England expected by 2025.

Mr Stevens said: 'It is time for the NHS to start practising what we preach. The NHS already spends an estimated £10 billion a year on potentially avoidable illnesses and the human toll is more than 100 amputations a week and around 20,000 early deaths every year.'

The programme will initially target up to 10,000 people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Seven innovative 'demonstrator' sites across England have been chosen to take part in the first phase of the programme before it is rolled out nationally. Local schemes will include action on weight loss and physical activity, as well as cooking and nutrition.

Some 2.5 million people in England have type 2 diabetes. Risk of developing the disease can be cut significantly by losing weight, reducing waist size and being more physically active.

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