Later this month, Health Exchange will be welcoming the first group of participants onto its new and innovative pre-diabetes programme. The programme, which will serve several wards in Birmingham, aims to reduce the startling yet growing prevalence of diabetes in the city.
It is estimated that if current trends in obesity persist then 9.6% of the adult population in Birmingham will have diabetes by 2020.
Health Exchange already has several years’ experience helping residents both prevent and manage their diabetes. The Living Well, Taking Control service has been active for the past three years, working with GP practices in the east and north areas of the city. This service uses motivational skills to empower participants with the knowledge and ability to manage their condition and improve their lifestyle.
Starting in mid-October, Health Exchange will be working alongside Birmingham South Central CCG and 29 GP surgeries to enable participant’s free access to this national programme.
The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is a joint commitment from NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK, to deliver at scale, an evidenced based behavioural programme to support people to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
9 month supportive programme
The programme is designed to be educational but in a relaxed environment where clients will discuss experiences, challenges and lifestyle issues that can be altered to reduce their likelihood of getting diabetes.
The core programme consists of six group sessions (1.5 hours each) and will be enhanced by up to 9 months of external support which includes:
- Facebook Groups: these private groups will enable group-participants to interact with each other in between group sessions. It will also provide them with the opportunity to seek further advice and support from their personal Facilitator, who will chair the group.
- Twitter Support: Living Well, Taking Control staff will themselves be tweeting out relevant and current information on diabetes. This will include tips, advice and recommendations. This Twitter function allows service-users to hear from a spectrum of Facilitators from within the team.
- Web Support: The Living Well, Taking Control website will go live this month. The website includes testimonial videos, supportive videos and blogs from staff and further details on the user experience.
Sugar content is discussed during one of our sessions
Following completion of the programme, participants will have gained a thorough understanding of their own health and lifestyle management. Topics covered will include understanding clinical metrics, self-monitoring, goal-setting, healthy eating, reversing negative thoughts and increasing physical activity.
For more information on how you can support the programme or help inform patients of this opportunity, contact our Living Well, Taking Control Programme Manager Leon Sewellon Leon.Sewell@healthexchange.org.uk