West Sussex Residents To Benefit From New Diabetes Scheme

West Sussex Residents To Benefit From New Diabetes Scheme

West Sussex residents at risk of type-2 diabetes are to be offered healthy-lifestyle support to help them prevent the condition developing. The scheme will see people offered 13 sessions focusing on exercise, education and lifestyle changes. West Sussex County Council, Coastal West Sussex, Horsham and Mid Sussex and Crawley Clinical Commissioning Groups are working together on the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

The national programme is a collaboration between Public Health England, Diabetes UK and NHS England. GPs are being asked to identify residents who would benefit the most from the programme. This will be done through patient registers and referrals from the NHS Health Check programme.

While type-1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle, type-2 often is. About 430,000 people are considered to be at risk of developing it across Kent, Surrey and Sussex, according to NHS England.

Christine Field, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said: “I would encourage people to take up this scheme if you are offered it. You will get personalised support on improving your lifestyle habits, including getting more exercise, a better balanced diet and losing and keeping off excess weight – which all help people to take more control of their health and ultimately prevent them developing what is potentially a life threatening condition.”

Ingeus is the selected provider for the South East region, and has been running Healthier You programmes in a number of locations around the country. The programme has been launched in the Coastal West Sussex area and will start in the Mid Sussex and Crawley areas in January.

Dr Karen Eastman, Clinical Director for NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG, said: “In Healthier You, the atmosphere is friendly and informal. It’s a unique group based programme, and although everyone is different there will be others in the same boat as you, facing similar lifestyle circumstances. The facilitators are there to help you increase your knowledge and understanding of what being at risk of type-2 diabetes means for you, empowering you to lose weight and increase exercise in ways that work for you. Throughout the programme you will be the person in control making the decisions and positive on-going lifestyle changes.”