Oxfordshire supports Diabetes Prevention Week 2019
Date: 01 April 2019
Oxfordshire residents are being urged to eat healthily and be more active to help reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes during Diabetes Prevention Week (1-7 April 2019) and beyond.
It is estimated that around 56,000 people in Oxfordshire are currently at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to other serious conditions including strokes, heart diseases, limb amputation and early death. Nearly 30,500 people in Oxfordshire are diagnosed as having Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes - an increase of 947 since last year.
GPs and other healthcare professionals in Oxfordshire are using Diabetes Prevention Week, which starts today, to urge people to find out if they are at risk and take action to improve their future health. You can check your risk on the Diabetes UK website
People who are concerned they may be at risk of diabetes can be referred by their GP to the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. This is a free local service designed to stop or delay the onset of the disease through education on lifestyle choices, how to reduce weight through healthier eating and bespoke physical activity programmes.
So far 3,195 people have been referred to the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in Oxfordshire since it was launched in 2018, with 1,454 people already started on the 10 month programme.
Former carer Heather Hobson, from Thame, was invited to attend a diabetes awareness session led by her local GP surgery. A blood test showed she was at risk, which then led her to sign up to her local Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.
Heather said: “The Healthier You sessions are really helpful. The group environment is supportive and encouraging. I would say go along and try it if you are invited. It is easy to get stuck in a rut, so doing a course like this shakes things up. It certainly encouraged me to be healthier. I have lost two stones in weight and feel a lot fitter.”
Jane Trenchard, an educator for the courses (provided for the NHS by Ingeus), said: “The Healthier You programme is all about empowering people to make their own lifestyle changes rather than a short term fix. A lot of small steps add up and can make significant changes for example, changing your diet, portion sizes, exercising and so on.”
Below are some comments from participants who have attended:
- I lost weight because I increased my walking activity
- Cutting out sugar in my daily coffee has really helped
- Reducing my cake and biscuits intake has helped me to lose weight and I also have more energy
Dr Amar Latif, a GP in Eynsham who leads the prevention programme on behalf of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “While more people than ever have the condition, Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable.
“This prevention programme, which we have rolled out in Oxfordshire, puts people in control of their health. It can help them avoid a disease which can lead to many serious health problems, including heart attacks, stroke and loss of sight.
“Patients in Oxfordshire who are concerned they may be at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes can be referred to the programme.”
Diabetes and its complications cost more than £10 billion every year to treat and one in six patients in hospital has diabetes. Around nine in 10 people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes, which is closely linked to obesity and there is strong evidence that in many people it is preventable.
NHS Health Checks are also a pathway into the diabetes prevention programme and are available to anyone aged between 40 and 74 who has not already been diagnosed with an existing cardiovascular condition. Your GP surgery will automatically send out invitations once every five years if you are eligible, but if you have not received or did not respond to the invite, contact your GP surgery to make an appointment.
Dr Eunan O’Neill, Public Health Consultant at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “The NHS Health Check programme is a brilliant way to identify those people who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and everyone shown to be at risk should benefit from access to local services such as the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.”
For further information visit: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/nhshealthcheck
Diabetes Prevention Week 2019 gets underway.
- Date:01 April 2019