GPs will refer 20,000 patients to diabetes prevention scheme this year

Up to 20,000 patients will receive weight loss interventions by the end of this financial year as a result of GP referrals onto the Diabetes Prevention Programme, NHS England has said.

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, national clinical director for obesity and diabetes at NHS England, reported that 2,000 patients had been referred onto the flagship NHS prevention scheme as of August this year.

NHS England expects 10,000-20,000 to enrol onto the scheme by the end of 2016/17 as it is rolled out across more areas.

Speaking at the RCGP annual conference 2016, Professor Valabhji warned that diabetes is affecting a ‘larger and larger proportion of our population'.

He told conference that ‘swathes of people’ have been identified with impaired glucose tolerance following of the NHS Health Check, and this had created ‘an ethical case to provide something for those individuals’ before they develop diabetes.

GPs operating across one of the 10 test site areas began referring these patients on to the Diabetes Prevention Programme in July.

Diabetes prevention

The programme offers patients tailored help on healthy eating and exercise to help them lose weight. By 2020, 100,000 places will be available on the programme each year.

Dr Richard Mendelsohn, clinical lead of commissioning at Birmingham Central CCG, reported that the scheme had run well in his area.

Out of 1,872 referrals, around half (903 patients) had opted to attend the programme, with a retention rate of over 90%.

NHS England is also interested in developing a ‘direct to consumer’ approach, Professor Valabhji revealed, which will bypass GPs and help get more hard-to-reach patients onto the programme.

‘There’s a proportion of the population that are high risk but don't have a relationship with general practice,’ he said. ‘In particular young Asian males – they are a high risk group but they won’t land in the health system and are too young for a health check.

‘We need to find ways to get them from age 25, and hopefully this will address inequalities.’

Full coverage of RCGP annual conference

Photo: iStock

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in


Just published

Young doctor

BMA poll could see 'demeaning' junior doctor title ditched

The BMA could drop the term 'junior doctor' in favour of 'resident doctor' to better...

Houses of parliament

Tory peer calls PA fears 'Luddism' and claims most GP visits 'incredibly straightforward'

Most GP appointments are 'incredibly straightforward' and fears over a wider role...

UK money

NHS pension contribution overhaul to go ahead from April

Changes to NHS pension contribution rates, which will see the top earners required...

BMA sign

BMA warns £800m lost from GP contract since 2019 as last-ditch talks continue

BMA negotiators remain in talks over an improved GP contract offer for 2024/25 just...

GP consultation

GPs still under pressure to prescribe black triangle drug inclisiran

GPs are continuing to face pressure to prescribe the black triangle drug inclisiran...

BMA chair Professor Phil Banfield

Lords urged to block legislation for GMC to regulate PAs

The BMA has urged peers to block legislation that would make the GMC responsible...