Thousands benefit from diabetes prevention programme

Thousands of people across Cheshire and Wirral are benefitting from the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme – a free support service for people at risk of type 2 diabetes.

The programme, currently delivered locally in Chester, Ellesmere Port and Frodsham, provides personalised advice on healthy eating, being more active and losing weight.

Pamela Hancock, 66, who has multiple long-term conditions, was solely using a wheelchair when she was referred onto the Healthier You programme by her GP six months ago.

Now, she not only has more mobility but her outlook on life is much more positive too.

“I was really low when I was referred onto the programme and thought a future of wheelchairs and walking aids was inevitable,” she said. “But, with the support of my family, I was prepared to do whatever it took to get my life back. I was determined not to develop type 2 diabetes on top of my other conditions.

“The Healthier You programme has given me hope. I’ve lost weight, improved my mobility and feel much better in myself. I feel like I’m fighting a winning battle again – not a losing one.”

It is estimated that more than 28,000 people across Cheshire and Wirral are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which can lead to other serious conditions including stroke, heart disease, limb amputation and early death.

Nationally, diabetes and its complications cost more than £6bn every year to treat. One in six patients in hospital has diabetes.

Dr Catherine Wall, NHS West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Clinical Lead for diabetes, said: “The Healthier You programme is having a really positive impact. It’s great for patients because it helps to prevent them developing type 2 diabetes – and all the multiple serious complications. It’s also great for the health service as it helps to limit the number of people who require lifelong diabetes care.

“Lifestyle change is not easy. If it was, we’d all do it. But Healthier You is supporting people to make those small changes which can make a big difference.”

GPs and other healthcare professionals are using Diabetes Prevention Week (April 16th-22nd) to urge more residents to find out if they are at risk and to take action now to improve their health.

To find out if you are at risk of type 2 diabetes, go online at: www.diabetes.org.uk/risk If you are, your GP can refer you for further investigations such as blood tests.

Date added: 16/04/2018

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