Service Reconfiguration

01.09.20

‘Life-changing’ plans to tackle £10bn a year condition come into effect

Diabetes costs the NHS an estimated £10bn a year, with almost one in every 20 prescriptions written by GPs around the country being for diabetes treatment. To help combat the rising costs and health impacts of the condition, the NHS has launched a new drive to increase access to a “life-changing programme”.

From today (September 1, 2020) thousands of people will be able to access NHS soup and shake weight-loss plans to help tackle Type 2 diabetes.

Under the new plans, which are set to run for a year, those who could benefit would be provided with “total diet replacement products” including shakes and soups, for three months, alongside support to increase their exercise levels.

Early trials of the treatment have shown the diet and lifestyle plans to put Type 2 diabetes into remission for those recently diagnosed with the condition. Results from one trial showed almost half of those who went on the diet achieved remission of their Type 2 diabetes after one year.

It will now be scaled-up and provided to 5,000 more patients across 10 areas, as part of the first stage in a wider NHS drive to increase access to the treatment.

Tackling Type 2 diabetes has become of an even greater priority recently, with NHS research from earlier this year showing those with the condition as being two times more at risk of dying from coronavirus.

Improving quality of life for patients, enhanced action on obesity and diabetes are equally expected to save the NHS money and free up staff time.

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Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity said: “This is the latest example of how the NHS, through our Long Term Plan, is rapidly adopting the latest evidence-based treatments to help people stay well, maintain a healthy weight and avoid major diseases.

“There has never been a more important time to lose weight and put their Type 2 diabetes into remission, so it’s good news for thousands of people across the country that practical, supportive measures like this are increasingly available on the NHS.”

The 10 areas to initially receive the rollout of the new low-calorie diet NHS programme are:

  • North East and Yorkshire: South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw ICS, and Humber Coast & Vale STP
  • North West: Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership
  • South East: Frimley Health and Care STP
  • South West: Gloucestershire STP
  • Midlands (West and East): Derbyshire STP, and Birmingham and Solihull STP
  • East of England: Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) ICS
  • London: North East London, and North Central London

Over the course of the next 12 months, sites across the country will test evidence from the original trials in a ‘real world’ implementation.

Individuals living with Type 2 diabetes who have been diagnosed with the condition in the last six years will be considered for the pilots. They must also meet other eligibility criteria to be referred to the service to ensure the programme is right for them.

Total diet replacement products will be provided by the interventions, alongside virtual one-to-one and group sessions and digital support.

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