Type 2 Diabetes

NHS to step up type 2 diabetes prevention plans as figures show half a million more people at risk

New figures from the National Diabetes Audit reveal an almost 20% rise in the number of people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the last year.

Statistics show that, in 2023, 3,615,330 people registered with a GP were identified as having non-diabetic hyperglycaemia — a precursor to diabetes. This is compared to 3,065,825 in 2022, totalling an increase of around a fifth (18%).

For those under the age of 40, the increase is closer to 25% during the same period; from 173,166 to 216,440.

Those with hyerpglycaemia are at an elevated risk of developing both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease — NHS England (NHSE) spends approximately 10% of its budget, the equivalent of £10bn, on identifying and treating diabetes. Cardiovascular disease is thought to cost the NHS around £7.4bn annually.

“These figures are concerning but they show exactly why the NHS is taking radical action to stem the tide,” said NHSE CEO, Amanda Pritchard.

“Doing nothing is not an option for the NHS, so we will continue to develop services that support people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes to lead healthier lives.”

Amanda Pritchard comment

The Diabetes Prevention Programme, for example, has helped thousands stave off a type 2 diabetes diagnosis according to research.

Around £14.5m is being invested by health chiefs to help up to 140,000 people aged 18-39 get extra tailored health checks, and support with diabetes management through the Type 2 Diabetes and the Young programme.

NHSE’s Dr Clare Hambling, national clinical director for diabetes and obesity, explained: “Type 2 diabetes in people under 40 is a growing problem globally — England is no exception, meaning there is an ever-increasing challenge for the NHS — which is why we developed this world-first targeted support for these high-risk people living with diabetes.”

She added: “The initiative helps to ensure that people living with early onset type 2 diabetes receive all recommended diabetes health checks, tailored support according to their individual needs, and evidence-based management to stay well and avoid complications.”

The health service’s Type 2 Diabetes Path to Reemission Programme is set for an expansion this year too, with a national rollout expected to double its capacity.

More than 23,000 people have benefitted from the so-called ‘soups and shakes diet’ since it was first piloted by NHSE in 2020.

Image credit: iStock

Website cover

NHE May/June 2024

Join the conversation shaping the future of healthcare.

Click below to read more!

More articles...

View all
Online Conference


2024 Online Conferences

In partnership with our community of health sector leaders responsible for delivering the UK's health strategy across the NHS and the wider health sector, we’ve devised a collaborative calendar of conferences and events for industry leaders to listen, learn and collaborate through engaging and immersive conversation. 

All our conferences are CPD accredited, which means you can gain points to advance your career by attending our online conferences. Also, the contents are available on demand so you can re-watch at your convenience.

National Health Executive Podcast

Listen to industry leaders on everything within healthcare

Whether it's the latest advancements in medical technology, healthcare policies, patient care innovations, or the challenges facing healthcare providers, we cover it all.


Join us as we engage with top healthcare professionals, industry leaders, and policy experts to bring you insightful conversations that matter.